October 5, 2009


Living on a homestead and striving to be as self-sufficient as possible means that you do a lot of fine-tuning, changing things to make them work more efficiently and to save labor and time.

Recently I wrote about running water to the barn and the sheep pasture. This was a project that redid an earlier project. This week we changed it again.

After leaving the water on one night and wasting way too many gallons of water, my husband decided that our first idea of using the 250-gallon water tank down the hill near the troughs is probably the best option, where he can turn it on, watch over it, and turn it off again. We had nixed the idea of putting it on a trailer and hauling it up the hill to fill it because we realized we didn't have a trailer that could handle the weight of the full tank (a gallon weighs approximately 8 pounds, so 8 x 250 = 2,000 pounds). However, we had enough hoses to reach down the hill from the faucet near the house - he was already using a string of hoses running from the faucet to the tank at the top of the hill, then another long string of hoses from the tank, down the hill, and to the troughs.

The tank is now down the hill, in the shade of the run-in shed to prevent algae growth. Dh stacked three pallets and put the tank on top of them. One very long string of hoses runs from the faucet into the top of the tank, and another short hose runs from the tank's faucet to the trough.

When we want to fill the tank, we use the long string of hoses; when we are filling troughs up the hill, we unfasten the string of hoses in half so we can fill the goats' troughs.

We'll have to wait and see how this works in the winter. We might have to go back to hauling water in 5-gallon cans if we have problems with the tank freezing. The hoses should thaw in the afternoon sunshine on all but the coldest days.

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