August Already

With the extremely dry conditions we’ve been experiencing,  oddly we are having one of the best years ever in our garden.  There have been few problems with pests, other than birds and squirrels, and most of everything we’ve planted has produced very well.  Aside from having to water on a regular schedule I’ve really enjoyed this years efforts.

 All the equipment has been gone for about a week now.  I’ve been starting to clean up around the building site.  Most of my time last week ended up in a retaining wall and set of steps built from the stone littered around here.  It ain’t called the rocky ridge cause we thought it was a cute name.  We have a lot of rock.  All sizes.  The wall and steps have served as a great place to hide the gleaning of the grade around the barn.

I have also decided to form up my own septic tank.  The rock shelf that the south side of the barn sits on just wouldn’t allow for a precast tank that was readily available locally.  I’ve looked at so many different options my head damn near spun off.  I couldn’t bring my self to burying a couple of barrels or go to the expense of a tank and pump set up.  There will be one toilet and a sink that will feed the tank that won’t be used daily,  so I did some rough calculations based on the averages that a typical residential system would require, then just threw all that ciphering out the window and settled on a 48″x32″ tank that will be 36″ deep.  The size of the tank was determined by the size of the hole I had to work with.  The backhoe and skid steer are gone, and I am not qualified to operate a shovel and pickaxe,  so the hole will have to be good enough.

I’ve spread out two loads of minus, crushed limestone, or fines as some call them,  in the center of the building.  This stuff is relatively easy to handle and, once you get it where you want it, will settle and pack like concrete.

I have all the connections made for plumbing/sewer made up to the forms for the septic, so I have started backfilling on the south side of the foundation.  It is a much slower process with my little sub-compact front loader than it would have been with the skid steer.  I’m damned happy to have what I’ve got, but I sure would have gone with a larger machine if I were offered the chance at a do-over.



  1. warren said,

    August 16, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    "and I am not qualified to operate a shovel and pickaxe, so the hole will have to be good enough."I think we share a commonality there! I am interested to see how your poop tank comes out!Our garden was junk this year. Too dry and hot when it didn't need to be so we have gotten a few things but our 'maters were shot.

  2. Ron said,

    August 17, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    The garden did ok here with the irrigation… but my motivation sure suffered. Machinery seems so big until you try to move earth or trees with it.

  3. Woody said,

    August 19, 2012 at 6:23 AM

    Warren…I'll get you a follow up on the tank. I didn't take a whole lot of pictures during the process. When you're working by yourself it becomes a pain in the ass to stop and take a photo. Ron…I just have too much on my plate to dedicate the time I need to on the garden. We're sick of cucumbers and getting close on zucchini. The sub-compact tractor is really the perfect size machine for everyday here. I would only make bigger messes with a larger machine and I know it.

  4. Ron said,

    August 19, 2012 at 7:14 AM

    I'm hoping my tomatoes die so I can quit canning them. lol

  5. Robin said,

    August 31, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    That is an awesome spread of tomatoes. Our garden turned out to be the best we've ever had too. How exciting that you are finally starting on your barn!

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