Monday, January 27th
The Chastain Farms
Today we woke up at 7:30 and took a pleasant morning walk out to feed the pigs. I really enjoy the morning walks we’ve taken almost daily at both farms to date, and suspect it will be a habit we take home to live with us.
When we got back, we drilled out holes in the chicken brooder box for the light fixtures to fit through from above, and built simple boxes for them to mount to.
Then we addressed the pots/kitchen space issue. The Chastain Farm does a lot of selling their canned goods, and they had a lot of large aluminum & stainless steel containers and strainers and such as a result. These took up a lot of shelf space – a pot rack would free up a lot of very desirable surface.
Up in the Tool Barn’s hay loft, we’d found a pair of aluminum truck bed rails that would make perfect pot holders, with the addition of some kind of s-hooks.
So we brought them into the kitchen and screwed them up deeply into a ceiling joist. That was the easy part – then came the hunt for hanging hooks.
After lunch, we combed through every room of every shed and barn on the land, seeking variations of an s-hook, or things that could be used to connect in other ways. We found a lot of things we hadn’t yet seen, thanks to this search.
While we were looking, I found the pitcher from an old Mr. Coffee maker that would be a perfect and appropriate light shade for the ceiling fan’s bare bulb in the Chastain “Coffee Shop.”**the ‘Coffee Shop’ is the room next door to our kitchen / wood heater hang out / living quarters, which served as the Farm’s office & Folgers Dispensary, to WWOOFers and farmers and, most of all, the regular morning crowd: “The Old Men,” who arrived around 6 am to shoot the shit & drink the coffee before getting to work, just as they had every workday for decades.
We eventually returned with a bucket full of bits including the things we wound up using: old aluminum milking hooks, a disused slotted serving spoon, a hay hook, clamps, a threaded dowel bent into a perfect long s-shape, a chain link fence post brace, rotted bungee cord s-hooks, chain, a bracket, and some openable chain link things I don’t recall the name of.
Then the shit hit; I used the bathroom. After completing my business I flushed the toilet, and stood to wash my hands and leave. I heard water splashing, and looked down to see, visible between the slats of the cedar platform we’d built, water welling up from the floor drain, flooding the floor with toilet water. Needless to say, I was glad we’d made the flooring; without it I’d have had some gross feet to clean up.
It turned out that the septic tank was full, and backing up as a result. So while Kristin and Kimm and the SoCal WWOOFers worked with the crew to cement the greenhouse support poles into their final positions, I helped Nathan fetch the pump and do some smelly work, moving the overflow puddle away from the building. I handled the hose and used a board to clear toilet paper off of the intake, which otherwise become clogged immediately. I was glad to have had fun adventures exploring sewer tunnels in my past; the smell actually has positive connotations for me, so it was no trouble to deal with.
We helped the others finish off the cement work, hauled in the tools and extra bags of unused cement, bringing one opened bag to the brooder house, to fill in a hole that had eroded in the the doorway.
It was a good day’s work!