Friday, June 20, 2008

water restrictions in action

the bastropian water peeps have finally enacted a water restriction plan. it's a good thing as we've not had rain for over a month now. rain is falling in texas just not anywhere near here. and it's been crazy hot as you've heard me report time and again. yesterday hit a whopping 104 degrees in the shade. crazy talk!

i shared a good conversation with two of our local water department fellows about rainwater harvesting and grey water restrictions. - very informative - and positive. it looks like i might be able to legally set up a grey water system here as long as i get the water folks involved from start and as long as i'm not running the water directly into city drains. as i explained to the fellows, that's not the plan at all. the plan is to get it to trees, flowers and non-edible planting areas. they were very cool and in full support of the plan. i've now got a name to contact to check the out the fine print. we'll see how that goes.

what a world of extremes. the poor folks in iowa and bordering areas are swimming with more water than they ever could want while we cry for a single drop. nature mama is keep us on all our toes. if you did not read the farm aid entry from yesterday, do check it out. and visit farmaid.org they are good people.

i was out hosing down the chicken run just so they had some place to cool off. the ladies spent no time digging in and resting in the cool damp soil. wet wet wet is not good for chickens, it can lead to illness so i just damped the place down enough for a cooling off, besides the evaporation rate at 104 degrees is swift. the other great benefit of a good spray every now and again is the sprouting of the chicken scratch that they leave behind. it's a good source of baby greens for them.

the ladies got the mother load today. i was out early this morning taking care of the ladies, yard business and few errands. i stopped by the home from which i collect their grass clippings each week. they leave them next to the road and i pick them up. today there were two huge huge bags of clippings. well, the ladies got one full bag to themselves and boy oh boy are they happy. i'm happy too. whatever they don't eat, they scratch in. the scratched in bits then begin to compost with the soil and with their poopy poops all without any odor. they are my wee one composting machines who lay yummy yummy eggs - aha!

i put a third source of water out for them, a 3 gallon bucket filled to the rim. i set it in a corner of their inside coop. i'm hoping that it not only works as a waterer but also helps cool the place down a bit. every little bit helps.

ah back to the odor thing. i've not had a single problem. i'm keeping the inner coop thick with hay about 8" deep. every 4 or 5 days i head out with a small can of garden lime mixed with a dash of diotomaceous earth and sprinkle just a little on any exposed poopy poop. it dries it up quick and keeps any interest the flies might have to a minimum.

in fact i do not have a fly problem. really i see 1 or 2 every now and again but i think my process is really keeping them unawares of the goods in the coop which i will not change until some other factor requires so.
today is a long day of design and drafting. i expect an electrician to stop by a little later in the day to take a look at my main power panel and to run a line out back. i could probably do it myself but i thought better not to considering it's the main connection to the power line, i'll let the licensed, bonded, insured pros take care of that.

even with the heat, there are bits of the garden still doing extremely well. the heat loving okra and melons are doing just fine.

the long beans are up and sprightly.

the cucumbers seem to be setting.

just the same, i put out some tuffbell row cover . it's not shade cloth but it's what i've got right now and anything at all to help cut some of this harshness is good in my book. i have run a single piece leaving the bottoms open for air current and bee and beneficial bug entry and allows me access to the goods. it's water penetrable so if it rains, it rains through.

this guy does not seem to mind the heat one bit. in fact, i see these little folks bathing out all day long.
don't see him, look close

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