crossposted to , as usual

it’s been an enormously productive few days, in between bouts of intense relaxation. my favorite kind of weekend.

friday, Leslie came over to do the well test. This was to test the well itself for high iron content–before the water reached the tank, or distribution system, or the kitchen faucet. Since the initial well-test when we bought the house was done before we were available to be on hand and see how they did it, we don’t know what source-point they took for the water–the spigot? the kitchen sink? and we have unpotable levels of iron in our water, which is otherwise quite pure. So Leslie came over with a kit from work (she does this for a living, kind of), to see if we could prove what we all suspect to be true: the problem is the tank, not the well.

The good news is, the problem is definitely not the well. We got the whole pump-house wet in attempting to get a sample directly out of the tank so we could test that, too, and the whole night was kind of hilarious. But the water that came directly out of the well, while it had some iron in it, actually had a perfectly acceptable, fairly low level of iron. quite potable.

Here’s everybody looking like we all know what we’re doing. Five minutes later, in the photo I didn’t get because i was busy running out the door with my precious digital camera, the water geysered up to the roof of the pump house and soaked more or less everything. This was one of the attempts to get the pressure in the tank low enough that we could disconnect it from the well itself. Note the age and general decrepitude of the tank.

So the next move is to replace the tank. Leslie did want to test the tank-water itself, to rule out the problem being, say, the water line that runs from the tank to the house, which is another possible culprit (and more of a pain in the butt to replace, if it turns out to be the problem–but, still, it would be very, very good to know where the problem is, exactly). The tank is ancient, and very small, and replacing it is on the agenda anyhow. The pump is too powerful for this tank, and will run more efficiently with a larger one (because it will have to run less often, for one thing). Though I would really like to get a quote on a whole solar well system, DC pump, battery backup, panels and all, and roll our federal “economic stimulus” payments into it! People around me keep talking about making a donation to environmental or progressive charity of that money, but i have twelve major projects screaming for capital right now, so one of them, or more than one, is going to get that money.

So that was Friday’s major step forward. Now we’re looking into solar systems for the well, and a new tank. Saturday was breakfast with and Kevin, who had come up from Ruidoso to visit the new girlfriend he met over Beltane. Things appear to be working out well on that front, though, in his own words, he “was a gentleman” and spent both nights at our place–albeit returning very late. breakfast was very fun, though, and it was good to get a chance to talk. I got the trees watered that morning, and decided that getting another large roll of standard 1/8″ emitter line and putting the trees on the drip system would be a really good idea, as it would make tree-watering a very fast and easy process, rather than 45 minutes of hanging out with the hose. it’s kind of relaxing, but we’ll get better at doing it more often (i.e.: enough) if we can automate it. They need to be soaked every second day, and they really haven’t been lately. one of the apples was getting droopy.

This morning, i got up early, unable to go back to sleep, and ended up doing a bunch of gardening. mulched the potatoes, which are getting tall. set up strawbales as a windbreak for the peas; maybe they’ll get taller now. i hope so. then we both did some light weeding; got basically caught up on weeding, which feels great. i love getting up in the morning and gardening. and feeding weeds to chickens; that makes me really happy. they love the kosha. and goatheads, too, near as i can tell. certainly they eat them.