Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Watering the cattle - Part 1

Remember when I said the well was fixed? No such luck. Farmer John and the guys from the pump store spent most of Friday working on it, but did not solve the problem. We are again without running water. We will stay without running water until a new water well can be drilled and hooked up, hopefully next week sometime.  

In the meantime, all the animals need water and it's our job to find a way to get it to them. The cattle drink a lot of water, even in the winter, and the little streams aren't running as much as they do in the spring and fall. So, we are hauling water bucket by bucket. 

This little structure is by the back porch. It's covering the hand-drawn well. 

Inside the little building is this pulley system. It's exactly what you'd imagine with a hand-drawn well. A bucket is attached to a rope, the bucket gets dropped down into the water, then pulled back up and the water is dumped into another bucket. 

I think this old pulley is so beautiful. On Sunday morning it was covered with a thick layer of frost. 

This is a picture inside of the hand-dug well. Notice that it's fairly shallow, three feet across and lined with stones. I can't imagine the work it must have been to dig and line it. 

After two of the bigger buckets are full, Farmer John carries them up to the cattle trough to start to fill it up. I stay at the well and keep filling buckets. It takes about 3 of the well buckets to fill one of those big buckets. Eight or ten of the big buckets will fill the water trough. This is not our favorite way to water the cattle. 

Farmer John is working on a better method to get water to the herd while we are without running water. If it works as planned (and let's face it, nothing much has been going as planned recently) we'll have some photos later in the week. 


  1. Lorraine in WisconsinJanuary 18, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    For some cosmic reason, you are given the opportunity to experience the hardships that most people in third world countries live with on a daily basis, all their lives. Who knows where this experience will take you? I know you don't need these real life lessons to sensitize you, maybe the point is to share them with others on this photo blog. Thanks for doing that for all of us.

  2. Wow you guys have not had the best of luck. it's gotta get better soon i'm sure of it.

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  4. Isn't life full of surprises, not all good. It's the little points of beauty, like the frost on the well pulley, that make for transcendent joy when things are going well, and bearable slogging when they are not. I hope this episode of not going well ends soon.

  5. Yikes MT and Farmer J, life is complicated enough without this kind of stuff going on.
    I do see the beauty in the frosted pulley however.So tonight before I go to bed I am going to go outside and get some snow to melt to brush my teeth with in recognition of your troubles. naw! how about I brush my teeth using PBR, that be roughing it. Best of luck to you!!!! we have running water in Rockford and a biology job open.

  6. When we were little - I could NOT stand the taste of the water inside the farm, but this well water was the BEST! Always cool and pure - like the glacier water in bottles today ... without the plastic. And that pully has been there as long as I can remember too. Of course, the buckets have changed through the years and that little well "building" was a haven for bees at times.

    The farm where Jim and I stayed as farmhands and a nanny - well, he was digging under the whole house because there was a water problem - couldn't find it without digging. Jim found a well like this and he dug to the bottom. It was, in the end, 25 feet to the bottom. I wonder what's in the bottom of this well?

    Just think of the healthy lifestyle you are living! No couch potatoes with you two!

    Just remember - don't lick the well pully when frosted! lol

  7. Thank you all for your comments and words of encouragement. We are doing just fine. Last night we even talked about that this lack of running water isn't as bad as we had anticipated. But, I'm still gonna keep writing about it!


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