Grit Blogs > Adventures of Old Nebraska Dave

Gravity-Fed Watering System Progress and the Las Vegas Family Visits

A photo of Nebraska Dave

Hey folks,

The Urban Ranch has been filled with energy.  My oldest daughter from Las Vegas came for a visit just last week with her new husband and two of her three kids.  I decided to have a cook out on the Poor Man's Patio for the relatives to come, eat, and visit with my daughter and her family.  I invited 20 with an open invitation to really anyone that wanted to see her and the family.  I bought enough food for 40 and 55 showed up.  It's a good thing I have great relatives and they brought food without it really being required.  It's never a good thing to have hungry relatives pillaging my house.  After all the festivities were over, my granddaughters slept on the floor on borrowed mattresses, and my daughter and her husband slept on a double size air mattress on the computer room floor.  I wanted to fix a country breakfast the next morning but it just wasn't in me after the night before. 

We all arose bright and early, filled our bellies with Captain Crunch, not my choice theirs, and off we sped to frolic through the different exhibits at the zoo.  Our zoo here is one of the best in the country and covers about 100 acres.  We trudged through the 90+ degree heat with matching humidity for about five hours.  They all complained about how hot it was for the entire five hours, and I just reminded them that it was only 95 here and back home it was most likely 110.  I just thought it quite humorous that they would complain so much about the heat.  My five-year-old grandson finally announced, "Grandpa, I hurt."  We all laughed because he never runs out of energy. We gave up viewing the pachyderms in favor of going to the Golden Coral, still not my choice theirs, to dine in the lovely atmosphere and sample their delicious cuisine.  After our bellies were filled with delightful delicacies we climbed into the mini van and headed on home.  I warned them not to let Bradley sleep on the 30 minute ride home, but NOoooo, they didn't listen.  After arriving home all the family dragged themselves into the house and collapsed on the floor, in the recliner, and on the couch expecting to nap before going to bed.  Ah, yeah, all accept one five-year-old that had reloaded from the homeward bound nap.  After enjoying the entertainment of him pestering the group for about 30 minutes, I decided that it was enough torture for them and settled him down to watch a movie while the rest of the family snored away in contentment.  After the movie was over, Bradley headed up the stairs for his bath singing, “Who let the dogs out, bark bark bark.”  The next day they were gone and the house once again came back to its normal dull roar.  What?  Is that even possible?

We had a storm whistle through with 70 MPH winds that dumped an inch of rain.  At 7 p.m. on the dot, the entire neighborhood went black.  A tree had blown over and took out a power transformer.  Power finally was restored at about 2 a.m.  It was quite entertaining to watch Bradley try to process what had happened.  He was convinced if one TV didn't work then the one in another room would work, and if the light won't work in one room then it should in another.  He had his first candlelight bath.  The hot water heater in my house is gas, so hot water flowed.  We read our night time story by candle light, and he drifted off into a happy dream world by the flicker of  an apple scented candle.  He was very glad to see the TV and the lights work in the morning.  So was Grandpop.

Old-Dave-and-the-Tree-Branch

I've been working on the watering system again.  I have good news to report.  One raised bed system is up and functioning wonderfully well.  It's the bed with the tomatoes and cucumbers.  You want to talk about cukes.  I have harvested 17 so far with a ton more on the way.

Here's the final distribution tank ready to be placed in the raised bed.  It's made from 3 inch PCV pipe with caps on each end.  Holes were drilled into the tank and fitted with drip watering connections that were glued in place.  Drip watering hose will direct the water to the base of the plants.  OK, so let's see how it all fits together.

Final-Distribution-Tank

Here you can see the distribution tank in position ready to distribute the water.  The string is a little on the spot modification.  Without the extra support the hose kinks and restricts the flow of water into the final distribution tank.  The hose closest to us is actually a vent hose so the water can continue to drain from the distribution tank after the timer shuts off.

Hose-Connections-to-Final-Distrution-Tank

Here you see the intermediate supply tank that has the timer.  This tank will be filled from the 1200 gallon supply tank just up the hill when I get the hole in the seam patched.  The flow rate for each tube when tested was about a gallon in five minutes.  The timer will be set for five minutes.  Since it takes 8 tubes to water this particular bed, that's about 8 gallons each watering day.  During the heat of the summer that would be every day so without being connected to the big supply tank it would last only three days.

Secondary-Supply-Tank-with-Timer-and-Hoses

Yes, indeed, that is a pinch clothespin to hold the watering tube in place.  It's the best thing that I have found to hold those drip watering hoses in place.

Distribution-Hose-with-Clothes-Pin-Support

So there it is folks, the first operational automated gravity feed raised bed watering system on the Urban Ranch.  All systems are go and we have water flow.  Now on to the next raised bed.

Now I know I have a coffee cup around here some where.  Oh, well, I'll leave you with a quote from the Canadian Red Green show.  "It doesn't take long for men to make a decision. It's making a decision look smart that takes the time."  See ya next time, and don't forget to leave a comment and tell me about how things are going in your world.