It seems that everywhere we look on the Homestead at the moment there’s something in need of more attention than we have time available. This has made work on our current perpetual garden clock orbit rather halting to say the least as we juggle time invested in run-of-the-mill weed pulling and garden titillation with monster tasks.
One monster task we’ve been chipping away at is the battening and general revamp of the chicken coop. Six years sitting out in all weather, on a drunken lean to boot (propping the front up on bricks seemed the perfect solution to rainwater collection to us hammer-challenged newbies) has taken its toll on our paltry, poultry palace. Boards have shrunk making for less than snug conditions and constant insect harvesting around the front “foundations” (read haphazard row of bricks) has a way of creating perfect, rodent-sized doorways. In the way things do when you look around, a stash of wood off-cuts suitable for plugging chicken coop drafts happened along our way and a great amount of time has been spent attaching these in a vaguely uniform manner to the chicken residence.
Next up is implementing the devilishly clever/totally devoid of logic (delete as applicable) plan we have for creating fall on the roof while keeping the footings level. This was to have happened on Saturday, as the sun was shining, making it perfect roof removal and refurbishment weather. Then, as things tend to do around here, our attention was diverted during a quick “half-hour” weedfest of the ground behind the garage, “just to keep things moving”. It just seemed silly to stop half way through the job.
A couple of months ago, we were told of two 1000L water tanks in need of a new home. Although it was a little early in proceedings for us, we know a good deal when we see it and the tanks have been hanging out at the top of the Homestead driveway attracting a fair amount of attention, especially as they arrived the day our local paper ran a piece warning of council plans to implement water charges. Once the ground was cleared, one of the tanks was manhandled into temporary position where it will spend the winter collecting the garage run-off.
The tanks had come without a small hose adaptor, meaning that every time we opened the valve we could potentially lose litres of water; these adaptors are sold on the internet but, impatient souls that we are, we decided to have a go at manufacturing one ourselves. The Goat Herd did a bit of research, donned her Mech Eng thinking cap and disappeared down to our local hardware store, Hammer Hardware, New Brighton. There’s none of that “look in aisle 15A, next to the garden rakes, opposite the wheelbarrow liners, you can’t miss it” in this establishment. In this place you get greeted by the door (usually along the lines of “what have you lot broken this time?” in our case), shown the location of the item you seek, and the visit is not complete without a bit of a catch-up gossip about nothing in particular. There was no doubt that, with everyone on board, the adaptor of The Goat Herd’s imagination would become a reality. It took a while, a fair bit of head scratching, talk of flanges and nipples and stuff, and a bit of custom sizing with help of a grinder but in the end…
As I sit in the Homestead Mobile outside Farm Girl’s weekly swimming lesson frantically hammering this missive into the laptop (because life is currently very much a case of seizing the moment) soft but persistent rain has begun falling. My thoughts are drawn to the Homestead a few kilometres down the road. There’s not many sureties in life, but of these things I’m certain:
Tonight we’ll be watching television in a room festooned with the three loads of washing that were hanging on the line when we headed out this morning
Currently our wonderful neighbours are being subjected to the cacophony only three over-indulged, rain-phobic goats can produce, and
come morning, we’ll know whether our rainwater plumbing efforts do actually hold water.