More excitement on the farm last week: we got our new watering system installed!
Mushroom farming takes a fair amount of water. In addition to all the water for the soaking tanks (as mentioned last week), we need to water the logs occasionally to keep them from drying out and we water in the fruiting house to help keep up the humidity. Who knew mushrooms were so demanding!?
We were happy to discover that the new farm had an agricultural well, gushing around 80 gallons a minute, already installed and ready to go. Jeremy had used standard garden hoses for years on all the past farms, and the water pressure gets worse the farther the hose goes. So Jeremy went with a nice big lay-flat hose. It was 2 inches in diameter (much more capacity than your standard backyard garden hose), bright blue, and we had about 600 feet of it. It started at the house, ran through the lawn, up onto the dirt/gravel road running through the farm, then over a rock wall, down through a field, and finally up into the woods where we were resting and fruiting logs last year. It was the only place on the farm that worked for this, so we had to stretch the hose all that way.
Unfortunately, the poor hose managed to find every last random piece of barbed wire, nail, and rusty sharp bit of old machinery, and had several losing encounters with tractor tires. By mid-summer is more Swiss-cheese than hose. Jeremy patched it and fixed it many times, but he finally gave up. He’d no sooner patch a hole, then move the hose slightly and it would be full of holes again.
It made for a seriously wet and muddy road last year. Also, one of the biggest geysers from the hose was in the lawn and sprayed right over the fire pit. We have a pile of wood there so it’s always ready to have a little fire – but the whole pile was wet all year, and there was often a little lake around the fire pit! The only ones who enjoyed all this water were the ducks!
For the last couple months Jeremy has been planning the new watering system. He dug a trench from the house, following the same path, but going to the new soaking tanks and fruiting house. Several stops along the way there are spigots so it will be easier in the future to water a field of veggies or fill up the water tanks for pigs. And the last spigot pours water directly into the new soaking tanks.
Sorry ducks – no more muddy roads and boggy wet lawn!