Water woes… and solutions

Remember I used to say we have water everywhere on this farm? Cuyahoga river, year-round stream, pond, shallow well, deep well, swamp,… and Wednesday, water everywhere but in the house. Our jet pump died, and we were completely without water. Big thanks to Denny Herr and Sons, who came out the next day to trench to the well and install a new submersible, as well as plumb two of these frost-free spigots for the hoop houses and greenhouse. Today they finished up by installing us a new water softener. First clean water this old house has seen in over 100 years!

As long as winter keeps chugging along – 2-4″ inches predicted tonight! – the sap will keep on flowing, so we’ll keep on boiling. It takes an incredible amount of time and wood to produce maple syrup on our beginner-level “evaporator”. Nancy has been the primary boiler, Jan second, and I’m a far third, mostly because we thought we could just collect sap during the week and boil it all on Saturdays. Lol, we were so naïve. Maybe with a better and more efficient setup, but we’re having to boil most days the sap is flowing. I suppose it averages 3 quarts per day, running that fire 8-10 hours. Precious stuff, syrup.

Ended up purchasing a log splitter last week to handle the many logs we’ve got here. Even the cord of wood we had to purchase the other day was too large to burn in the arch, and hand-splitting was sure tedious. Man, I don’t know how we did without a splitter for so long. Best tool ever! Despite requiring a gasoline engine. Though I have been reticent to add yet another gas engine to the farm, I’ve come to accept the fact that they’re currently the most efficient way to get certain jobs done given my limited time. At some point I need to take a small-engine repair class, as they all come with an implicit requirement to maintain and repair.

The girls – minus grands (thanks to Grandma for babysitting!) – picked up the last of the supplies from Berlin Seeds down in Millersburg the other day. All that remains is a load of potting soil and amendments from Ohio Earth Food in Hartville, and we’re on the road to producing the best vegetables in Mantua this year. Hudson Farmers Market, here we come!

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