Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Working the Land

I'm on a quest to do a bit of updating. We've been working on the property to make it as ready as possible for our moving in full-time (which will officially happen this coming weekend).

One of our first tasks this fall was the setting of the water tank. We have a very fast moving, fairly wide creek running almost through the middle of our 20 acres. We will be using this as our water source. Well-drilling is a bit risky (as it is everywhere), mostly because not much has been done in the area. We know that the creek never freezes up, and the water is of high quality.
Of course, there are many variables one has to consider when using surface water, so we will be filtering it as though everything is wrong with it. On any given day, a moose could die and land in the creek above our property; parasites could come and go; the possibilities are many. We bought a 300 gallon tank, scooped out an area in the creek, thereby widening it, diverted the water over to that area, and set the tank (to the sides of which holes had been drilled, thereby letting water swirl in and out, so as never to be stagnant). This sounds easier than it was, by the way.
Jeremy built a "power house" around the tank. It is heavily insulated and built upon concrete pilings we made. This power house will not only house the water tank and pump, but also the generator, batteries, and inverter. (We will power the house with this system). In every season but winter, we will also set up a hydro system which will be set just below this power house. The water will then generate power, filling up the batteries, instead of the generator, which will run off diesel.

Are you still reading? Have I bored you yet? Next up was the running of the water line. We have 500 feet from the creek where the power house is up to the house site. We dug a trench down that distance, between 8 and 10 feet deep. Little by little we'd dig, Jeremy running the excavator, while I placed the line down deep. Along with the water line, we ran some electrical wire which will carry power up to the house from the power house. This was a tedious job, as a big percentage of our soil is actually sand. The sides caved in many times.

After the work of the trench digging was done, I had a chance to play on the equipment. On the property was an old outhouse which needed to be buried. I got to dig the hole, knock the outhouse in it, smash it down to pieces, and bury it.
Anna was fighting a bit of sickness during this particular weekend. She spent a lot of time in the cabin coloring and reading books on the bed.


Amy said...

I'm avidly reading! As I've mentioned before, Jake and I have talked many times about doing something like this. I appreciate all the insight!

Thanks for posting about your adventure.

Also... love Jeremy's superman shirt. I should get Jake one!

Kimberly said...

Wow! Sounds like a lot of work but very fun! I can't wait to hear more. You have a very cute family.

DeLong House said...

I love the picture of you in the machinery! You are so cool.

Jen said...

holy smokes ya'll HARD CORE!!! I love it and what an incredible experience for your family! Its like little house Coke style. Can't wait to visit those woods and let me kids be Alaskan again! I wanna see the cabin!

Rachel said...

YOU never cease to amaze me. Way to go, Sarah!