We had a short visit from Suzie's cousin Juliet and her boyfriend Sean, and they brought a few days of some of the best weather we've had in weeks! We brought the kids up and we all camped up on the land for a few days. It made it so much more enjoyable when all of us (including our 3 current WWOOFers Meg, Petra and Chantall) were out working on the land.
The night he arrived, Sean let slip he had some experience with water projects, so that was his time marked! He and I traced what I had thought was the freshwater spring which is amongst thick foliage a good ways in from our track. In fact what I thought was the spring was in fact a large water reservoir fed by the spring, which was itself only a few meters away from there, but its cover was buried under years of leaves. We then traced various pipes and moved hoses and managed to create a spring water supply at the side of the track, making it a bit more accessible.
Our friend Phillip has agreed to let us test drive his home built ram pump so we may get that water all the way up the hill soon!
Further water engineering feats include linking up the two water collection tanks. Ideally I wanted both tanks to fill equally when it rained, but the gutter only feeds into one of them. Sean's simple low-tech solution: a permanent siphon between them! Simple and it works! By the way you don't have to suck on the hose to start a siphon. Read to the end of the diary to find out the trick.
Inspired by this I installed the sink (salvaged from a friend's old kitchen) and drainpipes and jerry-rigged a connector between the water collection tanks and a garden hose. We did try to feed this into another outdoor sink, but the result was rather unspectacular!
The kitchen has gotten a lot of other attention the past few days, with help from Petra, Eli and Sammy: it now sports a real marble top, another nice countertop and 4 presses, all saved from old kitchens being thrown away.
And here is how you start a siphon without sucking hose: Hold the hose so both ends are pointing up and level. Then fill it with water (or whatever you're siphoning). Then (you may want help for this step) put your thumbs on both ends and one into each container and release!