Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Getting Close

We are within days of having the sewer hookup and couldn't be happier. If you have never lived with a failing septic system you probably cant imagine the stress but we live in constant fear of an imminent backup and total failure. I admit it publicly...I hate dealing with bodily fluids unless I am on the scene of an accident as a First Responder and then I go into my zone..otherwise...NO!

We bought the place knowing it needed a new septic but after we were here for a few months we found out we were the last house in this direction not scheduled to be hooked up to the new community sewer project. So I went before the water board and asked if there was any money left over that we be connected (it was a rural development Federal grant) and they said they would look into it. And they did...turns out they had a few Shekels left over and the Feds said it could only be used to hook up new households so we ended up first on the list. Now there are about 15 households that declined when this first came out that now want to be hooked up but we got priority and we are very grateful we were so fortunate.

They have gotten to the point of placing the tank/lift station. We are a couple of miles away and over a ridge so the effluent goes into this tank from the farm house and Judy's mobile home where a macerater grinds everything up and then a float valve triggers a lift pump to get it all down range.

The top of the tank will be a couple inches above grade with a stainless steel hatch to gain access to the pump and its workings...and no I have no intent of ever checking it out once in use and you cant pay me enough money to change my mind. Since this does require electricity to operate the pump and since we are prone to long power outages they are also installing a transfer switch so we can operate the thing with a generator several times a week if the power is out. Like the Boy Scouts prepared.
As I have said previously, I like machinery and there is a certain buzz in the air when big projects are happening. Bulldozers, backhoes, end loaders, etc have been operating for a week or so and we find it fascinating.

I am not an engineer but I suspect the amount of concrete they placed was to keep the tank from popping out of the ground when the water table rises and the tank is full. Think of a fishing lure bobber..gotta keep that baby buried.
Our hired hand Travis and I have also been busy fencing and we completed this pasture fence last week. The T-Posts in the fore ground only have 4 strands so we still need another strand which will be done when the sewer project is completed.
The actual isolation pasture fence we just completed has 5 strands and that is our standard. Lots of 4 strand pasture fencing around here but we feel the 5 strands give better security and its relatively cheap insurance against a cow from escaping. We plan to use this pasture to isolate sick cattle or to isolate new cows prior to introduction to the herd (sale barns have bargains but you need to be careful about introducing illness etc) and we also plan on experimenting with new pasture mixes in conjunction with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the University of Missouri. Our interest is in finding a forage mix that is indigenous to this area and that provides the nutrient mix we seek for our cattle.
The yellow sighting rope you see in this picture looking down on the newly fenced pasture is the border of the next phase of fencing and we already have much of the T-Posts driven for this next fencing project though they aren't shown in this picture (thanks to Travis). We use cheap polypropylene rope strung along the property boundaries to guide us in installing the fences. Some old timers can do it by sight but we cant and I doubt I will ever be able to do that. We also used cattle panels to fence off the end of this pasture because we hit ledge rock limestone and couldn't sink the corner posts as deep as we wanted and we didn't want to stress them by stringing 5 strands of barbed wire.

The plants in this picture that look like feathery trees or bushes is Asparagus and we found a patch while fencing. Sometime in the past this must have been a garden spot as I don't think Asparagus spread from bird guano like many plants but....does anyone know?
And to answer a couple of questions we have gotten on the chicken coop, we have 6 nest boxes in the coop  and drop down doors where we can access them from outside. We collect eggs in the morning and evening and find eggs at one time or another in all of the boxes but they often lay in just 2 or 3 of the boxes and as you can see; both the Barred Rocks and the Brown Leghorns lay in the same boxes at times.
We have also been working on setting up the pole barn shop, re-pairing the outside wood boiler (next post), splitting wood for winter, prepping the gardens for winter, and we just got the signed permit to widen the drive. But most important of all to us, we are preparing for #1 daughter Jenny and her fiance Steve and # 3 son Matt to visit us for the Thanksgiving Holiday. And did I mention its opening day of deer season Saturday and that #4 son Al is in his last semester at UNC-Charlotte and now wants to pursue his Masters? .....we love this time of year!

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