Oops! How is it Tuesday already!? Where did Monday go? Hopefully I don't confuse everyone by sending out our weekly update on Tuesday instead of Monday!
It has been a very eventful last week! We finally got a well company out to look at our situation. They had to pull the pump out and they determined it and the controller were both goners. It appears to be due to a lightning strike. Apparently quite a few wells/controllers in the area have been fried this summer with some of the intense storms we've had!
Getting ready to extract the pump.
The pump is attached to the end of 6 lengths of pipe, 200 feet down. It was quite a process - and, as you can imagine, quite a bill! We're hoping insurance will be able to cover some of it.
The morning the well company came to install the new pump, Jeremy had a little trouble with the delivery van. He got it going and drove it straight over to our mechanic, but of course everything seemed fine when he got there. So he loaded everything up for delivery day and drove off to the twin cities. Halfway through his deliveries the van died! He was stuck on the side of the road for a while waiting for a tow truck.
The tow truck finally collected him and delivered him and the van to a repair shop we often use in Minneapolis. Jeremy had a good walk to get to where our farmers market van is stored. He used that van to finish deliveries. Our farmers market van is a bit of an old beater. The fan doesn't work inside at all (which means no heat, no AC, and no defrost!) and the seatbelt "alarm" beeps incessantly. It's a short distance van used only once a week, so it doesn't usually matter. Luckily the windshield wipers work fine because it started pouring rain soon after Jeremy got back on track. Oh - and he didn't realize it was going to rain so he had no coat, not even a long sleeve shirt, just his t-shirt! By the end of his deliveries, around 9pm, he was sopping wet and cold. He stopped at one of our favorite restaurants, the Low Brow, for a bowl of soup. They kindly allowed him to wrap up in a blanket (he had found in the van) while he ate his soup and warmed up. And then a very kind friend of ours made up a bed for Jeremy in her living room so he had a place to stay, and then she lent him her car for the weekend so he could get back to the farm!
Community is amazing folks. We wouldn't be where we are without the help of friends and family in big ways and small throughout the years. We were both feeling pretty grateful by the end of that day.
Where was I during all this? Texting and calling back and forth with Jeremy, his mom, and our friend, trying to troubleshoot this whole thing! Ha! I was also picking mushrooms which I ended up finishing by headlamp. It was rainy and stormy at the farm too and as the thunder and lightning rolled in all I could think was, "Back off! We just got this new pump and controller in and we haven't even had a chance to use it yet!!" And, so far, so good! It's wonderful to have good water pressure again.
The shiitake and oysters have been very happy and productive the last several days. Since Jeremy returned to the farm I think we've had a night pick by headlamp almost every night!
Picking by headlamp in the high tunnel.
Picking by headlamp out in the shade structure.
Look at all these beauties!
We are definitely looking forward to fall and the slowing down of the mushroom season...but we probably have another month or two to go!
Oh, and Jeremy picked up the van on Monday morning and the new alternator is working just fine. Can we be done with vehicle breakdowns now?
The "baby chicks" are over two months old now and they're so big! I added in a second feeder for them and they're going through water a bit faster. I've been working on their outside area - weed whipping down the three and four foot high grasses and weeds. Tender new grass is sprouting up which is just what they'll love. We need to put up a bit of electric fencing to keep out predators (ESPECIALLY the resident killer, Spore). For now we have a few panels of chain link fence that I'll drag over and set up for an outside pen. I think that will keep everyone safe.
They have gotten big enough that they can fly/hop up to the Big roost. More of them make it up there every night. (And, no rooster sounds yet!)
Here he is, the resident killer, Spore! This is another great shot from Scott Streble, the photographer who came out to the farm a couple months ago now. Spore was quite the show-off for his photo shoot, playing with this vole he'd just caught.