In The Trenches

Sorry we haven’t posted in a couple of weeks. A lot has gone on, as you would imagine, and it’s hard to keep track of everything. For the sake of this particular blog, though, I’ll stick to two projects…

First I’d like to ask you to join me in imagining a simple concept: digging a trench. Say you had to run electricity from your house to a barn about a hundred yards away. Shouldn’t be too big a deal, right? Sure, a hundred yards is kind of far, but according to the electrician the trench would only need to be 18 inches deep and a few inches wide. It turns out this is the sort of thing you could probably do yourself; walk-behind trenchers are easily rented and operated, and will dig a nice, clean, deep trench up to eight inches wide – perfect for laying electrical lines. Should be a snap, right?

Well, it would be, unless you were one of those lazy-types who let your next-door neighbor talk you into hiring one of his friends to do it. You know, the friend with the backhoe and no communication skills? Yeah, that guy.

Well that’s what we did, naturally, and this is what we got:

So much for eighteen inches. I’ve seen smaller trenches in WWII movies, for God’s sake. Here are some more pics, for perspective:

That’s Lizzy looking thrilled inside the trench. It’s also, we’ve since determined, Lizzy looking thrilled inside the trench surrounded by poison oak roots, but that’s a story for another blog….

The funny thing is, we payed the trench guy by the hour – which probably explains why he did such a…thorough job.

Anyway, the idea is that the electricity will run down from the house, past – and to – the chicken coop, connect to the (eventual) solar panels (which will be mounted on the ground near the chicken fence), continue straight down to the barn, then, after a sharp right turn, end at the small stables we like to call the “goat shed.”

As it is now, none of these areas has any power, so you can imagine how convenient it’ll be to finally hook up any number of modern electric-powered conveniences. Things like lights, heaters, power tools, a 65-inch flat screen t.v, amplifiers, strobe lights – you know, normal farm-type stuff.

The point is, having electricity around there will be a good thing, so I probably shouldn’t complain about the size of the trench. I guess I’m just bothered by the fact that not only did the trench guy waaay overdo it, but that digging this thing was something I could have done. Don’t get me wrong –  it would have been difficult, time-consuming, and I may have struck a gas line and blown up the whole house – but I could have done it. Oh well – live and learn!

Which reminds me – one of the other big projects that we wanted to brag about was the addition of a terrific deck at the front of the house. This is another example of something I had almost nothing to do with (other than having a hand in it’s design), only in this case I don’t feel the least bit guilty. I mean, let’s face it – I’m as likely to build a durable and attractive deck as I am to build a functioning teleporter. Which is to say, not bloody likely.

But the guy who did build the deck did an awesome job. Here’s a before & after:

And a couple more pictures…

This deck is one of our last big-ticket items, along with electric work, fencing, and the forthcoming solar panels.  After this, we’ll be rationing driveway purslane, malformed apples and parboiled nettle just to survive.

But it’ll all be worth it!



5 thoughts on “In The Trenches

    1. Absolutely! There’s already water there, but we’re considering throwing another line down there while the trench is open. Can’t waste an open trench!

  1. It all looks great and yes you might as well add everything possible in that trench…it only costs money…you are young and can keep earing more $.
    Jan and Jim

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