How’s the Weather?

Forecast for the weekend when I started to put the plans into motion called for heavy rain on Friday, light rain Saturday until about 11:00 am and then clear through to the end of Sunday. Perfect!

I can get the rest of the well project supplies rescheduled for delivery and get a dump truck load of hogged fuel delivered on Friday. M can ride down after work on his motorcycle so we can get up early Saturday morning and get the hand digging done at the barn while it is raining. The electrical conduit roughed in during the concrete floor pour when we built the barn has to be trenched from the barn out through the side shed and into the water line trench.  It will be nice and dry in the shed, so a great way to spend the rainy part of the weekend.

Once the rain clears up we can finish planting trees from last weekend, spread hogged fuel in mucky areas that we still need to cross with the truck for dumping cow manure, and then lay the 600 feet of electrical wire and HDPE water pipe in the trench. Then we will be ready for the well guy to install the pump and hook up the pressurized water tanks next week. Yay!

I spent Thursday getting everything packed and prepped. Friday morning I get a call from the plumbing supply delivery guy who is eager to make up for the missed delivery last week. He’s ready to deliver this morning but I tell him I won’t be there until noon – I have several stops to make along the way. OK – no problem, he will make sure he doesn’t show up before noon. I get there at 12:04 pm. He gets there at 2:30 pm. Guess I should have been more specific.

He pulls the delivery truck up to the barn and asks where I want the stuff. I’m eyeballing what’s on the truck and it seems there is something amiss. I see a bunch of 20 foot pvc pipe (which we ordered) and a large genie bottle shaped plastic container. Surely that can’t be a pressurized water tank – besides, I ordered two 80 gallon stainless steel tanks. I ask “what’s that?” pointing to the genie bottle. He tells me it is a 300 gallon water tank. I look at him completely puzzled and say “but I thought I ordered two 80 gallon pressurized tanks?” His face falls on the floor (well, actually the driveway) – “Oh my God! I can’t believe I forgot the tanks!”  Keep in mind it is Friday, 230 pm, they are 45 minutes away, 200 pm is their last delivery slot and they are not open on the weekends. He offers to deliver the tanks anytime next week that I need. The genie bottle is for someone else.

Hmmm…. Somehow I keep my cool (not sure how as I am yet again sleep-deprived and this is getting to the point of ridiculous). “Well, in a perfect world, once my well guy gives me a firm install date for next week I would like you to deliver the tanks the day before that”. No problem – he just needs a heads up a few days in advance. He’s super sorry and genuinely feels bad, so it is hard to get mad – especially because Magpie absolutely adores him and he’s playing with her the way she likes to play – jumping and running, with just a touch of love biting.

A little while later the hogged fuel gets delivered and I get started on spreading it.

12 yards

12 yards

M doesn’t end up getting down to the farm until 930 pm despite leaving the office at 500 pm as traffic was completely backed up. It was raining hard and he was pretty soaked upon arrival, but Magpie and I have warmed the bed up for him.


Saturday morning starts out a little rainy but there are blue skies out there. The hand digging in the barn shed goes pretty well even though digging through several inches of gravel and then hard, compacted clay is no day in the park. We take turns digging and holding the light.


The electrical conduit coming out of the barn into the 10 foot wide shed.

At about 11:00 am I comment to M that the sun should be ours for the rest of the day according to the last forecast I read. Five minutes later as we are ready to get back to tree planting, the heavens open up and it pours. And it just keeps pouring. Then the winds start up. I could barely see to get the tractor back into the barn, but we did get the rest of the Empress trees in the ground and staked. Mulching them will have to wait as we need to spend Sunday getting the pipe and electrical wire laid in the trench. I was also able to finish spreading the hogged fuel but forgot to take a picture of the finished project.

The hogged fuel was spread all the way tot he straw and over to the tarped compost pile

The hogged fuel was spread all the way to the straw and over to the tarped compost pile

Laying in the HDPE pipe was not as difficult as I was anticipating. M strapped it to the well and then we rolled it out together.



The hard part was where we had to make the right turn and then connect the two 300 foot rolls together. The pipe was cold and therefore not very flexible so M brought out the propane torch we use for burning weeds on the road to soften it up enough to get the barbed brass connector in. It also proved difficult to keep the sticky clay mud out of the ends of the pipe, and obviously our clothes, gloves and boots.


M whipped up a couple of homemade “staples” using scrap wood and freecycled rebar to help keep the pipe in place until we can backfill the trench.


We got the pipe all the way to the barn –  which included trudging through the “canal”.  The section between the curtain drain and the barn filled up with water during this past week of non-stop rain and is not draining very fast since this is the area that was cleared, leveled and compacted when the barn was constructed last year. M’s boots fill up with mucky water. He makes squishy noises with every step for the rest of the day.


It is at this point we discover that the brass connector the plumbing supply place gave us to connect to the roughed in water line that goes into the barn is not the right one. Neither is the connector for the electrical conduit which means we can’t run the electrical wire.  After a brief moment (or two) of frustration, I point out that since we have to come back out to receive delivery of the forgotten tanks, we can have them also deliver the proper connectors and we can run the electrical wire then.  All is not lost… yet.

Despite the comedy of errors of late, I think we still have at least one more shot at getting the well project done before I give up and jump in the “canal”. I sent pictures of everything to the well guy. I know he ordered our pump – I’m just waiting to hear from him when they will be out so I can get all of my ducks lined up in a row for the next trip. Maybe they will like the canal.


About La Femme Farmer

Starting up a small farm is the goal for the second half of my life. It's a late start I know, but better late than NEVER! Growing food, cooking and eating are my passions and now I get to do it full-time (and then some). and yes, that's a tomato from my garden!
This entry was posted in Construction, Preparing the land, Water Management. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to How’s the Weather?

  1. DM says:

    I can appreciate every twist and turn of that weekend. You either have to laugh or scream when that much craziness happens back to back. I hate that feeling of “squish squish” in the boots. Bet the two of you both slept like babies after those brutal days. That is a long commute on a bike…in the rain…in the traffic no less. Great update! DM

  2. We have to laugh or we will go out of our minds! I am looking forward to getting this particular project off of the to do list though – not just because it means we will have running water at the barn – but just to be able to blog about something else!!
    Enjoyed the visit DM.

  3. Bill says:

    I remain greatly impressed at how y’all are doing this work yourselves. I have near zero confidence in my ability to take on those kinds of projects. I’m sure the fact that you did so much of the work yourselves will contribute to the sense of satisfaction you’re going to have when it’s done. 🙂

  4. Thanks Bill – we appreciate it. And oh boy – we can hardly wait to get to that “sense of satisfaction” part!

  5. Things always look worse when you have rain dripping down the back of your neck and your mud boots are making squishy noises! Sending Good Luck your way.

  6. Thanks FCF!
    It sure slows putting “one foot in front of the other” when they are weighed down with so much muck and water!

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