We have water! My neighbor Juan not only makes awesome organic olive oil, he is an awesome worker as well! He and his two men worked 13 hours a day to complete our water project in three days. They cut nearly 3,000 feet of trenches 2.5 feet deep and laid in new pipes all over the property. Now we are totally prepared for whatever irrigation project we need. Late Thursday I joined Juan for an "opening ceremony" where he hooked up the lines to his diesel truck motor pump and on the count of three, we turned the switch and it roared and started pumping. Using flashlights, we inspected the lines for leaks and watched huge amounts of water gush from our main 6-inch pipe. I jumped up and down and hugged Juan while Grace smiled and ducked safely away from the two crazy old dudes getting wet and screaming in joy.
Bringing in water is a major milestone. Since buying the farm I've gone through two managers and experienced lots of heartache. I've been disappointed by hired help countless times. But now, all the troubles seem to have faded into the past. I'm seeking bids for organic compost that we'll spread across the property along with soil amendments, to ready the soil for planting. We're also planning a garden to grow organic vegetables for the teahouses and we're in discussions with Doug at Prather Ranch about possibly raising free-range chickens or turkeys for him. The hope is that the poultry would help keep the soil fertile while enjoying a healthy and happy life amidst the tea plants. If this idea works out, it could pay for a full-time employee to keep the place running.
The next immediate projects are composting, activating the greenhouse, and importing tea seedlings that will live in the greenhouse until spring planting. Things are starting to happen and I am soooo excited!
Photos below: (1) the main 6-inch pipeline from the aquaduct; (2) late at night: water!; (3) water gushing from the new pipeline; (4) the smaller diameter pipe that irrigates the orchard