I did learn that shearing is a dusty, loud (the generator), dirty job, but the men are skilled and the sheep none the worse for the experience. However, they have 90 days yet to live, out in the afore mentioned sunlit green pastures before their lives are ended. Michael Pollan notwithstanding, that ending is a scene I could not visit. So I’m not a real farmer, after all. The sheep will grow a new, pelt, rated No.1 before they are slaughtered. Meanwhile, they will not suffer from the lack of a winter coat, as Mike has been watching the weather forecast and selected these warm days for the shearing.
One of the naked sheep escaped the fenced enclosure, and I wanted to photograph him. He was agitated and wouldn’t let me get close, but as I stood there, a man in a shiny red car stopped on the road to ask if I needed help rounding him up. I mean, he was going to pull over, get out and help? I now am annoyed with myself that I didn’t introduce myself instead of just reassuring him that the owners were in control. Nice neighbors!
Now let’s talk about the water situation. Sore subject! Jake is the third Well Guy we’ve worked with, though he is technically a Pump Guy, not a driller. He has come to try again to get water from Well No.2 to be tested for salt, and finds it unnecessary even to take this water to the lab, as he can taste how salty it is. And of course, with the particulates of arsenic and other lovely components, this water can’t even be used for irrigation lest it kill the plants. Doomed. We’ve tapped into the Pacific Ocean, it seems. We celebrated too soon.
So, we’re back to Well No.1, the low producer. Jake will test this water to see if it is at least potable. If so, we can pipe it up through the copse to an underground reservoir where it will collect to serve household needs (if my sisters are reading this, remember the cistern?). Jake has a low-tech testing device on his truck and reports that this water has one tenth the particulates as has No.2, which he believes means it won’t be salty. Just sandy. But don’t worry! There’s a solution for that! But now we wait for the lab report, probably available next Monday.
Meanwhile, the Fence Guys are busy drilling post holes for the deer fence they’re building for the orchard trees. And guess what. He invites us to peer into the bottom of one of the holes, and there it is. Water. Flowing. What the? I think it’s one of the springs we’ve been told dot the property, Larry says it’s just seasonal. Hmm. Good thing we’re not planning on a basement, hey?
On Thursday, we go back to meet the asbestos abatement team, and to give them the check. Just FYI, we’re meeting the accountant to create a business standing for the farm and the whole project will become a Very Important Financial Entity. Soon we’ll be getting phone calls from folks eager to help us “grow our business” or “succeed in the market.” Can’t wait! Will report next time with photos of the completed fence and depleted farmhouse.