Monday, August 26:
We are a houseful of sore people. The boys who baled and brought in the hay today are sore; the one who ran the Tough Mudder on Sunday is sorer. Two with bellyaches are sore in another way; the ones who spent the day on their feet in the kitchen are very footsore and stiff about the knees. But the loft in the white barn is full of sweet baled clover and orchard grass, and there are fifteen more quarts of peaches to weigh the shelves in the basement. There is butter, and ricotta and mozzarella in the refrig for a lasagna tomorrow, when we will be harvesting tomatoes and putting up more sauce and salsa. Frenetic as is this time of the year, it redeems itself in the form of food for months to come, and such food, too.
The half-inch of rain that fell on Thursday night should have replenished the water hogs behind the monastery, but did not. Finding that the water level in the tanks had not risen for all the rain that fell, we investigated, discovering that the black flex pipe that carries water from the roof drain to the tanks was cracked in several places. We replaced that stretch of pipe and tested the system with a hose and spigot, with the result that, still, no water reached the hogs. Before we had time to wonder whether this resulted from a suspension of the laws of nature, we found we were standing in running water, running, it turned out, from a slash in the black pipe where it passes under a thick clump of bindweed and cane. A little incaution with the Stihl blade weeder had left this egress for the roof water. So tonight, as there is rain in the forecast, and on top of baling and taking up the hay, one of the men had to go down and fix the water system. The black flex has been replaced with four inch rigid drain pipe, and we hope – and the cows hope – that their drinking water supply will make it through another week of high summer.