Though we have still had a few mornings with ice on the windshields and a dusting of snow, we are well on our way to summer. Below are a few pictures of the property as of current.
The creek is running very well. It started to run constantly in mid-April and continues now at the end of May. Based off of last year’s experiences, we expect that it will begin to dry towards the end of June giving us two months of solid water. We also have had a change of idea in terms of permanent water. We were planning on a well, but after being on the land now for a year we are not sure it is a wise investment. We are fearful that the water table that we drill into will either be 1.) too deep to be viable; 2.) it will dry up shortly after the creek dries, despite the creek trickling farther up the valley. We are now considering water storage as an option.
By the very liberal estimate of our combined water usage of about 30 gallons per day, we approximate about 10,000 gallons of storage need. This would be a very large expense in and of itself, but we have figured that our actual need will be much lower. First, when the creek is running for two months, we will not need to use stored water (which we would be filling from the creek over a week or two). That reduces our need by ~17% (t = 8,300 gal). This last winter, we had usable snow on the ground that we melted for water from December until April, or 40% of the non-creek-running year (t = 5,000 gal). Lastly, these figures are based off of 24/7 living with two men, one dog, and excessive house chores (e.g. leaving the water running while doing dishes). In reality, this property will unlikely be full-time living for either of us. It will be a part-time living for many years. But I still do not fathom us using the property full-time for the entirety of summer (the time most in need of stored water). We expect that winter and spring will be our most used time on this property, as they the most enjoyable times to be there. With this, we can spend less than a thousand dollars on ~1,500 gallons of storage and whatever plumbing is needed as compared to over $3k for a well, $1,500 for pump, and plumping, and still have no guarantee of hitting water (or having that water last through summer). We are still in the consideration stage, but it has really effected our thinking in terms of water access, storage and availability, catchment, and how these factors will be considered in the future.
The compose is also doing well. The comfrey we planted last year is taking off after last winter. We also have a few volunteer organisms making themselves known (an onion and mushrooms).
The next step remains spending the $2,500 on a shipping container, getting it in place, raising and setting the last two girders we decided to add, then ripping the Spruce logs we have for our roof decking. Once that is complete, we can backfill the container and spread the soil on our roof. The current plan is about 12″ or so deep of dry soil above the decking. We’ll cross all these steps when we get there.