Carrots want a wet kiss, just not that wet.
And Lo! We have made water.
Well, we didn't actually make water.
Let me make it clear we claim no supernatural hydration abilities. We do not, have not, and will not ever have the power to make water, unless you count Alex peeing on the trees every chance he gets.
Male anatomy must really be a thrill.
But what we have done, with the help of modern mail-order culture and many shouted expletives, was get water running to our dear seedbabies in the ground.
Our farm property has 2 large catchment ponds that collect rainwater, and there used to be a pump that chugged their water all the way out to the rows of pear trees.
Each tree had its own personal spigot, and the whole setup was pretty slick. Some years later, there is much repair needed to whip that system back into shape (and many future blogposts to capture it all), but our most recent imminent task was to get water to those seeds I talked so fondly of last week.
The carrots, radishes, green beans, onions and now, sunflowers, marigolds and celosia and more need it to survive!
Here's where I hand the chalice of triumph to my sweaty boy Alex.
He groaned and wrassled in the old pump house for many hours while I seeded, cleaned the barn, emailed and pruned (humming the "I-love-you-but-I'm-so-glad-I-don't-have-to-do-that" song).
My mother was in town, and we busied ourselves with the near-futile task of cleaning the barns, which really equates to unearthing doomtowers of fireants and squealing.
McFarmer installed a new pump, manhandling it into submission. He then worked a little reconnaissance into the irrigation task, searching for clogged and broken lines in the PVC trail that led from the pumphouse to the main spigot.
There was SO much digging.
After some extensive tweaking, patching and re-jointing with brand new PVC--which brings up the age-old question, "Why is Lowe's such an infuriating establishment?" ---we were ready to set up the drip tape.
What is drip tape, you might ask?
Why not set up a sprinkler or pull the ol' thumb-over-the-end-o'-the-hose trick?
I'm glad you queried.
Drip tape is the small farmer's best bud. The Scooby to our Shaggy, the Milhouse to our cactus-headed Bart.
These long, flat and black plastic hoses are punctured with itsy bitsy holes. Once you hook the tape up to your water line, they swell (looking much like a typical hose) and water slowly drips out the tiny holes, irrigating your desired area gently and consistently.
Think of the bad kiss you endured at that first 'Spin the Bottle' disaster scene of your adolescent youth...
wasn't it much, much better when someone finally gave you the tender yet firm Frenchie you deserved?
Farm irrigation is just like that. Exactly.
No plant wants to be blasted with splashes, smooshing them one way and the other before they've grown strong enough to stand tall and demand better.
They want the reassuring pulse of drip tape that doesn't leave them feeling lashed about, or like that upperclass dude smelling like pizza wanted to eat their face off.
And perhaps that's where the analogy ends. Back to the drip-tape installation...
In the midst of that contentious meeting with the otherworldly antpile in the barn, I heard the
of what my mother aptly dubbed
"...the sound of someone who needs their enthusiasm recognized."
Alex was celebrating the gush of water coming from the hose; he had freed the pondwater and channeled it into the field a la pump, pressure regulator, water filter and copious amounts of PVC.
That accomplished, we got to bust open a slew of fun tools and gadgetry to set up the drip tape irrigation lines.
After all the display of brawn, the rest of the work was easy as pie:
FIRST, we laid out the main line of tape, the supply line. It's thicker and more heavy-duty, and is where all the other drip tapes originate from. We connected it to the water source (the hose) and plugged the other end to stave off a big ol' mess.
NEXT, we rolled out the drip tape to fit atop a veggie bed.
THEN, this intriguing tool was used to poke a hole into the supply line exactly where the drip tape needed to connect.
THEN, small connector pieces attach the drip tape to the new hole in the supply line.
LASTLY, we take the very end of the drip tape line and fold it over three times and secure it with a pre-cut piece of tape.
And there it is! We're on our way, and now have irrigation to keep us and the plants happy.
As long as there's no "Seven Minutes in Heaven" on the agenda.