Wednesday, May 15, 2013
The OMG get off me Woman SHTF no Running Water Irrigation System with attached Hummingbird Feeder
So I finally got my truck back and let's just say as I was paying the bill I was also saying goodbye to the welder setup I had been saving up to buy. I been a very good boy and not being distracted by flashy guns or ammo (even the stuff that is still reasonably priced). No I had been saving for a welder and materials to build a charcoal forge for the place, but that project took a serious financial hit so I had to readjust a few things.
After getting the garden all set up yesterday and then starting on splitting the left over large firewood logs so I can stack em to cure this Summer (and get em out of the way for mowing) the Mrs. once again used my weakened state to complain that I had not watered the newly planted seedlings, sown seeds or the Sunflowers she transplanted. She exclaimed that it was broiling hot and dry and I should have watered them earlier in the day. Like I hadn't been about to drop from exhaustion as it was. Now I was forced to carry five gallon buckets of water from the rain barrel to the garden (about maybe 30 yards) and hand water all the above mentioned plants because I hadn't run my hoses out yet.
So today as I looked at my now very depleted preparedness savings I decided I would tackle the garden irrigation system. Prior to this year I have always ran a hose out to the garden and using connectors and Y-branches with soak hoses and overhead sprinklers set up a system to water each section of the garden. It was mostly a time saving thing as I could do other things as the watering was going on.
Of course as I watered the garden the Mrs. was constantly berating me about how I was also watering the weeds. Blah Blah Blah. She usually proclaimed her superior watering skills while dragging a hose around and murdering plants left and right. Pointing out how much of a menace with a garden hose she was didn't even dent her water snobbery in the least. I finally resorted to making sure all corners of the various garden sections were hardened with stakes to keep her from wiping my poor garden off the map with one fell garden hose sweep.
A couple of times I have absolutely forbid her within 10 yards of my garden with a hose.
Anyway this little water war has been going on between us for a couple years and it's all good natured of course (unless the Mrs. is in a bad mood). This year however I changed tactics on her and I had just about enough money left over after paying for my truck to put my plan into action.
I added a second rain barrel to the deck system, luckily the barrels we use on the deck were also on sale for almost half off. I T-connected them together and then put a shutoff connector on the drain hose. I then took a big old storage tub and half buried it in the garden. The tub is now a good two foot lower than the bottom of the rain barrels which is plenty of drop to simply fill the tub with water and use that to hand water the entire garden as needed. It actually works pretty good with just enough flow to keep a decent level in the tub as I dip in a three gallon water pail. It does take it a little while to travel the distance from the rain barrels however.
It took about 25 gallons of water to give the entire planted parts of the garden (except the corn) a good soaking this afternoon after I had it all set up. Now between the 110 gallons I have on the deck if the barrels are full I also will have the 1200 gallon cistern to draw out of for the dry spells. I hope to achieve two things with this spur of the moment mini-project.
1. I want to see if I can keep the entire garden sufficiently hydrated using captured water resources only for the entire Summer. Of course in a complete grid down scenario we would also rely on the cistern for other water uses (after treatment) as I still have not gotten up to getting the well drilled yet. Also I have not even begun to store the run off water from the barn or other outbuildings. With the rainfall we normally get I should be able to collect enough rainwater to make it but we will see.
2. I also will be able to keep much better totals on about how much water the garden will use this way. It was much harder to estimate with the hose method although this will indeed be more actual work.
Call it a "Dry Run" (pun intended).
If I find I cannot keep up I still have everything needed to go back to my old system. I also can easily fill the rain barrels from the county water if we do not get sufficient rain to keep up with demand.
Now in order for this experiment to work I also need to get the cistern capped and the hand pump in place before the water in the rain barrels is used up.
I plan on doing just that right after I get the mowing caught back up. Yes, yes I have put off mowing about as long as possible.
Oh and to make the whole thing come together I put a shepherds crook by the sunken tub and hung a hummingbird feeder on it.
So I now have the water experiment and the Small-Hold pole bean recovery experiment on going.
Now pardon me while I go collapse from exhaustion and heat stroke.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!