Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The fence is done!

Yay  I got the fence checked and repaired on the east pasture and got two of the horses moved over there.

Here is a shot of the horses that we moved.  The one to the right is a 18 month old colt named Mesquite and next to him is Missy.  That was the patch that I repaired the north fence on.  I think I put in over 15 T posts lol.

This is a shot of Chief, who is on the left and Apache, the momma of Mesquite.  They are on a patch right next to the house now.  These two are broke and rideable.  The other two need to be taken and broke to be ridden.  Poor Mesquite gets to get snipped before he gets broke so he won't be a happy camper lol.

The patch that the younger two are an hasn't been grazed on at all so far this year so they have quite a bit to eat on.  This will give the 10 acres we keep the horses on a break to recover and grow since we have gotten this nice rain.  Can't let that go to waste!

The pastures they  are in right now are wired for goats.  If you notice the fence is a 9 wire fence.  I swear its fun to keep goats in when we have them, they tend to be great break out artists even when they have plenty to eat.  They just love to explore lol.

Well that's all for now, I should hopefully get the trim down and have the floor done on the one room I was working on and then I can see what else I can get into.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Waiting to hear the word....

I'm wondering if this guy has been messing with my phone calls lol.

Today the interview went well, pending the background and license checks it sounds like it will be a go so I can get back to work.

Out here at the farm I am finding quite a few projects that need to be done.  It seems to be a never ending process lol.

One of the main projects that tends to put others on hold is that my niece is a Rodeo Queen candidate at our local rodeo, the Cimarron River Stampede, which is in its 77th year.  It is considered one of the oldest running rodeos here in the state of Oklahoma.  If your in the area come on out it runs from the 8th to the 10th of August.

One of my main projects that I need to get done this week is to go through the fence on one of our 5 acre patches that hasn't been grazed on yet so I can put a few of the horses there so their patch can recover.  We have had some great pasture growth due to this nice rain we have been getting.  Knock on wood we have another chance to possibly get another inch of rain or so tonight.

I also need to get the weed eater going and mow a rapidly growing lawn at some point this week too, it never ends lol.

Once we get an idea on what we possibly want to do with the rainwater system one of the next projects will be possibly getting ready to do some fall planting with some fruit trees and where to put a few raised garden plots to prepare for next spring.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Rainwater Catchment Systems

I have been doing quite a bit of reading on Rainwater Catchment Systems.  The best information I have found so far was a very nice pdf file by the Texas Water Development Board.  Here is a link to the pdf file.  The manual is 88 pages long with a lot of good information in it.  The only thing you really need to look for is to find a table showing the Average Annual Precipitation for your area that you live in.

Here is the table for my state Oklahoma.

Where I live is in the area between the 24 and 28 inch per year range.  Now to keep it simple, (remember when doing calculations to use the K.I.S.S. method, 'Keep It Simple Stupid' ) I will use the 24 inch to use a conservative number.  Now I do realize that we are in a drought right now but also keep in mind that these tables are an average not a per year basis.

So here is a few pictures of the old cistern that is on the property.

 As you can see it has not been used in quite a while.  We have owned the place since 1982 and it was not in use then.  It appears that the walls are a thin concrete with a plaster over them.  There is one section down towards the bottom where it has cracked and fallen in.  That broken piece is probably a foot or so but there is a section a few feet long that is pushing out.  There is about 18 inches of water in the bottom and a decent level of debris in the bottom.

The cistern measures about 7 foot in diameter by 14 feet deep.  Keep in mind that is to the debris level not the true bottom of that tank.  Using these measurements that gives it a 3454 gallon capacity.

Next the roof footprint of the house is roughly 30 ft x 71 ft.  That comes out to 2130 square feet on the footprint.  Now with rainfall you can get .62 gallons per inch on every square foot.  That comes out to 1320 gallons of water for every inch of rainfall.  Now a person will not be able to get 100% of the water off of the roof.  The professional contractors that install systems use between 75-90% catchment when designing and installing systems.  I'll be conservative and use 75%.  That still gives the roof 990 gallons of water per inch of rainfall.

With this system  it would catch 23,760 gallons of water in a year that is usable.  They say a household uses anywhere from 24-49 gallons of water per day on average.  One person would use anywhere from 8760 to 17885 gallons per year.  So as you can see water usage is a huge thing in this.

Right off the top of my head I think we are going to need to find another source of water, a well for example to supplement the rainwater.  As I continue to research and crunch the numbers it should be interesting.

The first question is whether or not the old cistern is worth refurbishing or if we need to go with a new tank catchment system?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Going home is hard work!

Well I have to say it has been quite a while since I have moved this much furniture around at the farm lol.

I have to say that the decision to get off the road has so far seemed to be a very good one.  I am realizing how many different things I have missed out on when I was out on the road.

I have a very good job opportunity lined up starting next week once all of the pre-employment tests are done.  I will be able to make at least around 700-1000 a week and be home to work on the many many projects out here on the farm.  I really need to make a priority list to start to get things lined up and moving once I have a work schedule down.

I think one of the first things we are going to start working on is a rain water catchment system. I was surprised at the information I have found on it.  There was a great pdf file from the Texas agricultural system that really breaks the system down on what you need etc.  It's interesting the popularity of this type of system that is rapidly growing.

We discovered that the farm has an old cistern.  The problem is that it hasn't been used in decades and would need quite a bit of repair.  It is pretty big, estimates put it over the 4200 gallon range if not larger.  We have to determine if it is worth it to repair it or just to go with an above ground tank system.  I will take a few pictures of it and post them on the next blog entry as we figure out if we can use it.

I have to say things are looking interesting.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Time to go home....

Well everyone I know it has been a few days since I have posted on here.  There have been a few things going on in my neck of the woods.

First off, I think its time to hang it up with driving over the road and go home.  There are a few reasons for this.

The first one is the cost of expenses.  I just went and did a comparison of what I was spending two years ago compared to today and it really scared me.  My expenses, eating, laundry etc out here have seemed to have increased drastically.  We are not talking a few dollars here.  We are talking about an increase of over 30-40 percent!  That is huge!  I'm sure if everyone went and did some research they would notice that prices have been steadily creeping up for the last two years.

The second one is the affect I am seeing with the new HOS rules for driving.  Right now the companies have re arranged the load times and deliveries to the point I am getting 4-500 miles less than what I normally do per week.  That adds up real quick in lost revenue.  Also, revenue has not been increased for us in quite a while.

So it simply boils down to the fact that you can only slice the revenue pie so many times.  Without an increase in revenue, an increase in expenses, it is getting harder to make a decent living out here.

The next thing is that I would like to be back on the farm more than once every 3 weeks or so.  Since Dad passed away there are way too many things out there that need to be taken care of.  My brother and I simply can't get to everything doing it 'long distance', meaning a weekend here or there.

There is a small chance that I can pick up on a local LEO position so I hope I haven't jinked it by talking about it!  That would work out great if I can pick it up.

So I am hoping to hang up the truck drivers hat, but take back down my duty belt and get back to work.  I'm praying it happens.