Archive for December, 2012

A long time beekeeper in the bee association warned me to expect 50% winter losses.   I thought to myself which hive am I going to lose, the one I’m reluctantly feeding or the log hive?

I realize this is only the beginning of winter, but both hives have already come through hurricane-force winds, weeks of steady rain, and a few recent frosty mornings.  The sun finally came out this weekend and to my happy surprise, both hives are still flying, even though the temperature was a mere 50 deg. F (10 deg. C)  The log hive is still bringing in a surprising amount of pollen.

I was able to shoot the 2nd part of this video with my new camera that sports a 50x zoom.  I don’t have to get as close to the hive now. 🙂

Hollowing out the log     Constructing the base     Bee Beard Gets Bees

Here’s a photo of the bottom board taken the next day…Some more experienced beekeepers say you can tell what’s inside the hive by reading the bottom board.  I see flakes of wax, but I’m not sure about the rest of it…

Warre Hive Floor Board...Learning how to read the floor board.

Warre Hive Floor Board…Learning how to read the floor board.  The layout of the bars are parallel with the bottom of this board.  What do you see?

When it's cold the bees hang out in the lower left of hive.

When it’s cold the bees hang out in the lower left of hive.

Status of bee hives one year later.

Here is Bernhard Zaunreiter’s assessment of my little Warre Hive…

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:09 am    Post subject:

It is a very small colony. But since they made it until now, they most probably make it through winter and until Spring. It will be a difficult time in Spring, when the old winter bees die off and have to be replaced with young bees just in time. Just make sure you protect them from robbing in Spring. A big colony will surely assault such a small colony and wipe them out of life. So reduce and watch the entrance.Such a moldy floor only can be found in small colonies. The black stuff on the right of the picture is mold. It won’t harm the bees for now. So no worries. The black dirt ist bug poo, I think the hive has quite some wax moths. The common woodlice are wintering within the hive, but won’t harm the bees much. You could clean the floor board regularily, so you can notice the differences over the time. Once the first stripes and pollen appear on the board, they started brooding. Wipe the mold off with some vinegar, washing and drying it afterwards with a hair dryer.Plenty of stores, so no worries about that. Maybe you scrape open some honey cells from above in Spring, so the honey draws moisture and can be eaten up more quickly, leaving empty cells to lay eggs into. Just some combs at a time. The most critical thingin Spring are empty cells.

You can see his example of a  more healthy bottom board here…http://www.biobees.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=88786#88786 (as well as follow the thread)

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We get the call at 3:17 am Saturday morning.  It is our son-in-law, “The contractions are starting.”  He didn’t have to say anything else.  This is what we were waiting for…our daughter had already missed her due date two days ago, and missed the solstice, which if you’re into numbers would have been one to remember…12-21-2012…two’s and one’s…but hey, nothing wrong with the next day, still two’s and one’s. 12-22-2012.  Hummm, early in the morning means there’s plenty of time to get that date.

We feed dogs, cats, ourselves…lock up house and jump in car for 3 hours of driving in rain, wind, excitement.  Should we go to the house or hospital?  Call daughter…”come to house, contractions still far apart.”  Reach house by 8 am, get served breakfast of eggs and toast by son-in-law, daughter bouncing on exercise ball.  Pick up son-in-law’s parents who have traveled from two states away (1600 miles)  This is their very first grandchild.  It’s a big day we agree, one that they were not sure would ever happen.  Now the line can go on.  The name can continue.  Pressure from 10 siblings has been brutal.

We met son-in-law’s parents about 3 years ago.  She is Korean and was serving as an on-base translator,  he is from the states, met her while stationed in Korea.  When our daughter and their son got married a year later in our back yard I wanted to know what  Korean word described the relationship of the two sets of parents.  “Sadun.” I’m not altogether sure this is a word meaning in-laws or specifically “parents of the bride and groom,” either way we are all sadun.  Her siblings live in countries spanning from Korea to Germany and she is in frequent contact with them.

Knitted hats for baby-Our daughter has been getting prepared.

Knitted hats for baby-Our daughter has been getting prepared.

Daughter…”Walking is supposed to help, let’s walk to the river.” Good time to go, rain has stopped.  We walk about a mile, Mom and Dad can finally keep up with her at nine months pregnant.  Get back home, time contractions…about five minutes apart, getting stronger.  Daughter, “I think I’ll call doula.  What the heck is a doula?  Doula arrives in 5 minutes.  We find out what a doula is…a very patient knowledgeble person who knows what to do during a birth.  She has met with daughter to work out a birthing plan which can be presented to physician at hospital.  Natural birth, no pain medication, darkened room, no noise. NO TV. While daughter bounces on big inflatable rubber ball, we interview doula. “How did you happen to get into this?” “I felt there was a need because many times women don’t know what to ask their doctors or what to expect at the hospital.”  “Did you have to take a course or something?”  ” I took a correspondence course.”  Alarm bells start clanging loudly.  “Wellll, how many births have you attended?” “This is number 12.” Alarm bells quiet down.  Daughter has picked her out.  If daughter has faith in her, so do we.  “Is it okay with your family to just leave and help our daughter?”  “My husband can take care of the kids, and if he is gone, my mom lives real close and she can watch them.”  Doula waits quietly, no phone calls, no fiddling with electronic devices, totally focused on daughter’s needs.  We wait awhile until the decision is made to go to hospital.

Son-in-law takes daughter in one car, we arrive about 6 pm in our car, check through security, find waiting room.

"Labor and Delivery"We are on the right floor.

“Labor and Delivery”
We are on the right floor.

We go through security, check at the nursing desk, “Your daughter is in triage, waiting room is around the corner.”

Family waiting room "...and here we are."

Family waiting room “…and here we are.”

Chairs look comfortable enough, we settle in.  Son-in-law’s Dad opens his newly purchased used text book on Invertebrates.   We wonder, “What is daughter doing in triage?”  Ask nursing station, “she wasn’t far enough along.”  We message son-in-law…”What’s going on?”  “Only 2 cm dilated.  We’re walking around, trying to get things started.”

8:01 pm…”Cafeteria is closing in an hour, doctor going to dinner, no news for awhile.”

8:54pm…”Update: looks like 3 cm+ dilated so we’re staying, not going home.  Progressing nicely if not a little slowly.”  Didn’t know going home was an option at this point.  I message back…”We’re excited, betting on delivery time.”  We each take a different time.  Knowing my luck with betting I use reverse psychology…”I say 3 am tomorrow,” hoping my bad luck doesn’t  fail me.  Wife takes 2 am, our sadun take before midnight.

Meanwhile we get some company.  A lady from  New York sits down quietly.  A retired teacher she usually spends the Christmas time in sunny Florida where her husband and son have already gone.  This will be her first grandchild, also a girl.    I ask her, “how did you let your daughter up and marry someone so far away?”  “She met him in college in New York.   They both got teaching jobs here, and what could I do?”  We appreciate our daughter being only three hours away.

NY son -in-law pops in, “Mom can you get me a big whopper?  The cafeteria is closed and I’m starving.  You’ll only have to drive a couple of miles.”  We admire her willingness to venture out in a dark rainy night in a strange city.

Another lady pokes her head in the doorway.  I take my feet off the chair.  She sits down and we start again.  “What is your daughter expecting?” “A girl, but not today.  She fell at five months pregnant.  She feels some pain.  We want to get her checked out.”  Later we see mom and daughter arm in arm, relieved smiles on their faces, black pony tails.

9:54 pm I hear the message chime on my iPod.  (I’m so happy the hospital is wireless)  “We were just admitted to the labor room.  She’s getting an IV needle, second try by the nurse.”  We knew that was the streptococcus antibiotic IV.  Something my daughter did not want to do, but acquiesced when told her baby could be at risk.

NY lady returns.  We’re happy she negotiated the whopper.  Another lady pushes a stroller through the door.  We all move over.  She introduces her two year old grandson, JJ.  We say “hi,” and start to engage.   Her daughter is expecting a girl also.  That will make 5 grandchildren.

11:46 pm  ipod chimes…”Update:  Last hour has been about trying to put in an IV.  Four failed attempts including left hand.  Calling in the IV expert.  After it’s in and she has jacuzzi she can have visitors.  Your daughter has amazing veins.  Nurse says daughter’s veins just ‘retreated from the needle.'”

We visit with her, see the beautiful delivery room.  Wood paneling in place of cold stainless steel cabinetry, soft lighting, jacuzzi.  Quite a switch from 33 years ago when daughter was born.  There was even a couch long enough to sleep on.

Daughter is smiling, happy to have so much support.  Both sets of grandparents present.  We’re happy that she wanted to have us there.  “It helps with the pain and fear.”  We return to the waiting room with a new appreciation of our daughter and what she is going through.

NY grandma has been joined by  her in-state sadun.  An anxious excitement fills the waiting room as they exchange greetings.  “Won’t be long now,” they agree.

We wonder…what gives them the right to have their newborn before us?  We’ve been here six hours, they have just gotten here.  I feel like saying, “Listen here, you’ve got to earn it.” I’m silent.

An hour and a half later, they get the word…”baby’s been born.”  They file out.  The room is quiet.  We maintain the watch.  My counterpart is still soldiering through his invertebrate book.  I admire his stamina.  Turns out he taught this class 25 years ago and is reading this text book to catch up on all the changes.   He’s retired now, but volunteers at the bird reserve and participates in all the bird counts…”missed the Christmas count this year to travel up here.”

Son-in-law enters the waiting room…asks my wife if she would like to take a turn with daughter while he takes a short break.  Wife is touched by this thoughtful gesture and takes off.  I decide to pace the empty hallways.

Wife returns half hour later and talks about her visit with daughter.  “She smiles during her contractions, says she just has to ‘go with the pain’.”  We talk about that time she was playing down the road as a kid on an old burn pile.  She jumped from a log into what looked like a pile of dirt, but with smoldering coals underneath, burned both feet badly.  Her doctor was very impressed by how she handled the pain.

We wonder aloud what the baby will look like as one quarter Korean.  Will she have dark hair or blonde like our daughter?  We tell our new in-laws how much we like their son.  From the time we met him, how much he’s helped us out, how smart he is, “and he can cook,” my wife volunteers, an abject failing on my part.  His mom says when she went to grad school, she asked each member of the family to cook at least one meal a week.  That’s when he learned how to cook.

Pink shoe laces for granddaughter

Pink shoe laces for granddaughter

3:25 am Message to son-in-law… “How’s it going?”

3:45 am He writes, “She’s hot. She’s cold. She’s got the shivers.  She’s warm again.  This looks like a genuine progress.  In between contractions she is getting good rest.”

4 am…Cafeteria opens.  I feel strangely hungry.  Let’s go down get a snack.  My wife asks for a bowl of oatmeal.  I spot a grilled cheese and turkey sandwich. What am I thinking???  I’m a vegetarian who doesn’t even eat cheese.   I walk away from it and think about the oatmeal.  I remember the time when my daughter was about 15.  She and I would always fight over the slices of chicken left in the frying pan at dinner.  That time she says, “That’s okay, Dad, you can take it.”  I scoop them up, then suddenly realize something’s amiss.  “Hey, what’s up?”  “I’m not eating meat anymore.”  We talk about it for awhile and decide then and there,  none of us are going to eat meat anymore either.  That was about 18 years ago.  Eighteen years of no turkey sandwiches.  I decide the birth of a granddaughter doesn’t come everyday and grab the grilled cheese on white bread, made-in-heaven, turkey sandwich.  It was soooo good.

We return to the waiting room.  Another stroller is pushed through the door accompanied by a teenage uncle.  Grandmother leaves to check on daughter.   They soon warm up to conversation as best they can at 7 am.  Soon the youngster is sharing his stuffed animals with in-laws.  Grandma returns, collects them, disappears.

The waiting room is ours once again.  We feel we own it.  Anyone who comes in ought to ask our permission.

9:08 am…message chime on ipod.  “Water just broke. Complete. Doctor was  just called.  Smiley face.”  We talk about when wife’s water broke on our first baby.  “It was 12 hours before she delivered.”  Collective groan.  Shall we make any bets?  No one is taking any chances.  “What does he mean by ‘complete’?”  We look it up…”Maybe he means she’s completely dilated at 10 cm.”  Okay, good,  NOW we’re making progress.

Another batch of people enter OUR waiting room.  Silent permission is granted.  They are expecting a daughter.  Conversation leads to vegetarian diet.  I sink in my chair not wanting to confess my recent transgression.  Wife wonders if the hospital will sound the chimes when baby is born.  They only do it during day.  Soon we hear the first few notes of Brahm’s Lullaby.  New batch is summoned.

WHEN IS IT OUR TURN?  Wife says there ought to be a “Grandparents in Waiting Award.”  We all agree.  We’ve been here for 18 hours.

12:01 pm…message chime on ipod.  “Baby is anterior. O position w/molding still needing to be done.  Could be another hour or so.”  This gives us something to work on.  Look up anterior position…”Anterior is the favored baby position.  It lets the baby most easily maneuver through your pelvis and out into the world.”  Good news, but what does he mean by molding.  I take it to the nursing station.  “It’s like the head must ‘give a little’ to get through the opening.”  I’m learning things I’m not sure I want to learn.  How does the head ‘give a little’?  I don’t really ask aloud, afraid of the answer.  I smooth it over on my return to the waiting room.  “Things have to give a little to get the head through,” hoping that sounds convincing.

12:54 pm…message chime on ipod.  “MAJOR PROGRESS in turning the baby during the last contraction.  She should be born sometime this year.”  Obviously, son-in-law not taking any more chances with predictions.  And what’s up with her needing to be ‘turned?’  I thought “anterior position” took care of all that.  (Maybe son-in-law  smoothing over for us?)

2:02 pm We hear Brahms!  We know we still have to wait some time for baby to be ‘cleaned up,’ yet we can’t sit there any longer.  Three of us get up to walk the corridors.  We all head to daughter’s delivery room.  We hear a baby cry and cheer in delight.  That’s our new granddaughter.  WHEN CAN WE SEE HER?  Nurse is standing in nursing station.  “When are they going to let us in??”  She says “Oh, that’s YOUR daughter, I’m her doctor, your daughter did really well.”  I ask if I can take her photo.

Daughter's delivery physician

Daughter’s delivery physician

I want to brag up my two sisters that are medical doctors, one that specializes in delivering difficult births, but now doesn’t seem the right time.

She checks inside, gives us the okay.  We get the fourth member of our team and return to see our beautiful dark-haired granddaughter.  She’s already nursing!  Our daughter is smiling, filled with joy over her accomplishment.

Footprints

Footprints

This was written with the understanding there would be no names or baby pictures.  Final draft to be approved by daughter before publishing…”mommy brain” protection mode has already kicked in.

Granddaughter at 14 months.

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I like to keep an uncluttered web site.  Not too many ‘side-bar’ distractions, no multi-colored backgrounds, and certainly no ads…but I have to confess, I have been curious about the awards for the various kinds of blogs.  I’ve read the comments on other people’s sites that declare “I’ve nominated you for this or that award,” and I have to admit, I feel a pang of jealousy that no one ever nominated me for one.  So when I was nominated for the “One Lovely Blog Award” I felt very honored.  As I read the instructions, I couldn’t wait to share that honor and excitement with other bloggers.  I could list 15 blogs that I liked and in so doing, they could share in the excitement as well.  And so it was with some surprise that my first nominee, Eddy Winkos, revealed this to be nothing more than a type of chain letter that benefits someone down the line.  Participation in the nominations generates traffic and some sort of reverse back-linking patterns.  More traffic means more clicks, very important if you are a ‘PPC’ (pay for click) site.  See Eddy’s blog about this for a clearer explanation.  http://winkos.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/be-aware-of-awards/

Appealing to someone’s vanity for reward is nothing new,  it’s just that I thought I was smarter than that.  I’m sure the person who nominated my blog  did so with good intentions as I did with my nominations, but thanks to Eddy, this will be the first and last time that I take it further.

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Thank you for the nomination Byzantine Flowers.  I am honored and humbled by this award.  I’m not sure if I belong in this class of writers.  My wife says I have my own style.  I’ll take that as a compliment and leave it at that.

So here’s how it works:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Add The One Lovely Blog Award to your post.
  • Share 7 things about yourself.
  • Pass the award on up to 15 nominees.
  • Include this set of rules.
  • Inform your nominees by posting a comment on their blogs

7  Things about myself:

1.  I’ve been happily married over 40 years to my best friend who is also a good cook, hard worker, and has a high tolerance for imperfection.

2.  While growing up,  I didn’t have a grandfather on either side, now I am one, almost 3 times…just waiting for the call.

3.  I’m a newbie beekeeper…not for the honey, but to provide a place for them to live in a poison-free habitat.

4.  As a veggie gardener for many years, flowers were considered competition for water and space…now any bee-loving flower that might grow here is welcome in our garden, no questions asked.

5.  We live on the Oregon Coast where the average annual rainfall is 60 inches (over 1500 millimeters)

6.  I love to take pictures and videos of bees, butterflies, and basically anything that moves in the garden.

7.  I’m obsessive about my stats.

I’d like to pass the award onto these great bloggers…

1.  http://winkos.wordpress.com/about/  Eddy and Gosia are in the process of building a straw bale house in Poland.  This reads like a novel in which you can actually communicate with the characters.

2. http://adventuresinbeeland.com/ So much information can be learned here.  She has a lovely way of writing.  Emily Heath and Emma Tennant (below)  are partners in beekeeping. I hope I got that right.

3,  http://missapismellifera.com/ Emma  Tennant  is a partner with Emily in the beekeeping venture in London.  Both of them write separate very informative blogs and always reply to comments.

4.  http://woodandfield.wordpress.com/2012/12/16/please-dont-throw-me-into-the-briar-patch/ Joanna appreciates nature and writes about it.

5.  http://gtsphotos2012.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/english-daisy/img_1136-2/  He takes perfect flower photos.

6.  http://bbhb.blogspot.com/ The Backyard Beekeeper.  The Backyard is in the suburbs of Denver, CO. We live in small house with a small yard. The apiary consists of one bee hive (a top bar hive) inside a mini greenhouse set in the back corner of the yard, and another hive (Warré) in plain sight, set in a border garden.

7.  http://shelleyburbank.wordpress.com/ Shelley Burbank lives in Maine where she writes about things like localism, style, community, nature, literature, friendship, and our connection to the earth and each other.  One heck of a writer.

8.  http://groundtoground.org/2012/12/15/why-do-gardeners-need-good-soil/ Shane writes about using coffee grounds in your garden, sustainable living, and composting…my favorite subjects.

9.  http://slowfoodsmama.com/ She just moved onto a neglected farm and writes about the adventures of living on it.

10.  http://charlton-estate-trust.org/2012/09/07/how-to-turn-a-raised-bed-into-a-hoop-tunnel/ Permaculture on a Small Scale

11.  http://foragersyear.wordpress.com/about/ This blog is about the adventure of foraging for food. Scrumped fruit, gathered greens and mushrooms, fish and shellfish from the sea, hunted animals, and a little bit of home-grown veg, beekeeping and country wine making thrown in.

12.  http://mybiodiversitygarden.wordpress.com/ Trying to raise awareness & share information about ecology, biodiversity and what gardeners can do to attract more wildlife

13.  http://romancingthebee.com/ My name is Deborah DeLong, and I am an urban beekeeper and English gardener in Cincinnati, Ohio.  I am also a writer, a management consultant and an attorney, in that order.  Deborah writes recipes and beautifully photographs the finished products every day.

14.  http://blackstonebees.com/2012/12/16/last-look-before-winter/ Hey there, my name is Rob, and I am a beginning beekeeper/homesteader in south central Virginia.  This blog is intended as a chronicle of my experience diving into the world of beekeeping, gardening, and tending livestock.

15.  http://transitionculture.org/Rob Hopkins brings humour, imagination and vision to the great challenges of our time, and argues that what is needed, above all else, at this time in history, is “engaged optimism”.

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Sandi works for a company that orders printing from me all the time.  Whenever she would call, I’d bore her with my excitement about bees.  At that point I didn’t have any bees and was building swarm bait hives, wondering where I could place them, and in general being hyper about getting some.  Eventually, I got some bees.  So when Sandi called in late June to say she had a swarm on her property and didn’t want them because she was allergic, I felt obligated to get them.  She had suffered through my bee-brain ramblings, so I better come through.  I was still smarting from the feral bee hive transfer to Bee Beard Log Hive and didn’t want a third hive, but there was a couple whose daughter had built them a top bar hive that needed bees.  I called them and yes, they still wanted bees.

I’m sure there are better ways to capture a swarm.  These bees were snug against the trunk of a small fir tree.  I couldn’t bend the tree over the bucket to shake them in so I just sort of ‘brushed’ them into the bucket…watching for the bees to stick there rear ends up and fan the pheramone…”the queen is in the bucket.”  Hearing the grandkids exclamations are priceless.

I don't understand it.  I got stung 25 times when transferring bees into Bee Beard and didn't swell up as much as this time with only 5 stings!

I don’t understand it. I got stung 25 times when transferring bees into Bee Beard and didn’t swell up as much as this time with only 5 stings!

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Demise of a printer…

When my wife asked me today what I had planned, I knew trouble was coming.  “Well, I’ve got to get the garden winterized, dig in the leaves and coffee grounds, cover up with cardboard, etc. and I want to check the bees, see if they’re flying, it might be warm enough.”  Apparently that wasn’t enough.  “Why don’t we get that old printer out of the shop so we can use the space for the laminator.”  Now, I’ve been successfully foot-dragging for about 3 years on this little project.  Somehow I knew I wouldn’t get away with it this time.

Ten years ago that color printer was hoisted up the narrow stairway when we decided to expand our printing capabilities into color posters.  It took about 8 hours…my wife, daughter, myself and a come-along to safely jack that heavy piece of machinery up.  I well remember that and didn’t want to ruin my back or my day  plus I absolutely hate trashing something that has been manufactured.

As I removed piece by piece, I recalled all the work I had pushed through it. This was a good printer, but not without problems.  Even with the many consumer replaceable parts, we still occasionally had to get a service man in for maintenance beyond what I could do.  That was not cheap, nor were the parts that I could replace.

As I’m taking it apart, I can’t help but think of all the natural resources that went into the making of it.  Carefully machined rollers with gears and motors, belts and pulleys…I’ve got to add some photos.

Gears in printer

Gears in printer

What a cute belt and gear

What a cute belt and gear

How many toner cartridges did I use, I wonder?

How many toner cartridges did I use, I wonder?

Image drums...when I first started replacing them, they cost $110 each.  After a few years the price increased to $400 each

Image drums…when I first started replacing them, they cost $110 each. After a few years the price increased to $400 each

Think of all the designing, labor, and raw materials that went into this.

Think of all the designing, labor, and raw materials that went into this.

The accumulator belt.

The accumulator belt.

Paper tray assembly

Paper tray assembly

During this painful disassembly, I kept thinking about the beautiful machinery and all the design work that had gone into this.

How can we continue using raw materials taken from who knows where, cheap labor, and energy only to have it come to an ignoble end in such a short time?

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This shed was being dismantled at a mill near where I live.  I had to ask what they were going to do with it…and that’s how I ended up getting this 900 sq ft (83 sq. mtr)   building.  The cinder blocks in the foreground provide a bridge during the rainy season mid-October til late May.

We love to garden but with our shallow well we knew we had to be careful with the water and not over plant  In the winter we would watch all the rain fill the creek and wash into the ocean…in the summer we had to be frugal.  Since this shed had a metal roof I started thinking about catching some of that rain water to keep for the summer.  I wanted an above ground tank so I could gravity feed…no need for a pump.  I found a used 3000 gal tank that was in good shape and set it up on the gravel bed.

After getting one tank I figured it was such a great idea, i bought a second tank knowing the price would never be lower.

After getting one tank I figured it was such a great idea, i bought a second tank knowing the price would never be lower.  I extended the gutter down pipe to reach.  This photo was taken about 9 years ago when I started using them.

Watershed to tank via hijacked gutter.

Watershed to tank via hijacked gutter.

It helped to have the kind of downspout that is circular so I could adjust to any angle.

It helped to have the kind of downspout that is circular so I could adjust to any angle.

The sieve catches any small debris that might have made it down this far...keeping it out of the tank.

Every year we clean the gutter first and then let the first few rainfalls drain to the ground, rinsing the roof of pine needles, bird poop, and leaves.  The sieve catches any small debris that might have made it down this far…keeping it out of the tank.  It also holds the pipe in place, as nothing is glued.  I need to be able to adjust to the second tank.

Only 5 days of rainfall, this tank is full.  I've got to hook up the second tank.

Only 5 days of rainfall, this tank is full. I’ve got to hook up the second tank.

Our annual rainfall is 60 inches  (1500 millimeters) which we receive between mid October til late May.  In the summer sometimes there’s no rain for 3 months.  That’s when we need more water for the blueberries, fruit trees, and artichokes.  We tap into this water, but we have to remember to shut it off.  We can easily lose 1800 gallons overnight!

This water is used ONLY for irrigating the garden, not for drinking water which would have to be filtered.

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