Tuesday, July 30, 2013

You never miss the water...

On Sunday evening we welcomed 9 Junior High Apprentices. The Apprenticeship is a week-long summer job type experience for adolescents, and we have been doing them every year since I started working here. In the past it was limited to 2 to 4 students per week, but last year we tried a week with 8 and it worked great. So we scheduled more big summer groups, and we were ready when they started showing up en masse on Sunday. Several of these apprentices have opted to do more than one week this summer, so most of them know the drill. We work in the morning starting at 8. Four students break off to make lunch at 11:15. Then after we eat, there is a 2-hour work period in the afternoon. The rest is free time, some of it organized.

With all of those hours, we try to take on some big projects. So on Monday we worked hard in the garden: hoeing the onions, picking zucchini, hoeing sweet corn, hand-weeding leeks, and wheel-hoeing pathways. Donna's group planted the 5 pine trees that had been on the stage at LCS graduation and they started work on the pigeon exclusion project in the Long Barn. Today all nine worked on harvesting the last of the garlic and washing it and hanging it up. 2000 plus heads of garlic! Big work.

As we were finishing up yesterday, the students informed us that there was no water. No water? No water. But we are all sweaty and in need of a shower! Oh well. Oh well! We checked the easy fixes and it wasn't any of those. The breakers were fine. There was electricity. There was no magic reset button to push on the pressure tank. So we called the well drillers and left a message. In the meantime, our students went into water conservation mode. We got some 3 and 5 gallon thermoses and filled them at the Farmstead. We washed dishes camping-style with the water being heated on the stove. We remembered not to try to flush the toilets. It was a little adventure.

Today in the morning, Donna talked to a real person at Dahl's Well Drilling. They came right out. They had to pull the pump, and they discovered it was shot. Bummer. Big bummer. So then they drove to Eau Claire and got a new pump, motor and cable. Dear blog reader, I will not bore you further details, except to say that you do not really want the well people to say your whole system is shot. They worked all day and now we have water again. The photo below is them purging some water from the new pump.

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