Thursday, July 8, 2010

Water, Water Everywhere and Not a Drop to be Found



It’s been hot here.  It’s also been cool.  This has been very good for getting vegetables & fruit to appear.  Even the wily watermelon’s attempt to hide from me has been foiled.

Then there is the problem of making sure these sweet young things get all of the water they want.  It’s even more of a problem when you have 11 Earthboxes filled with thirsty vegetables & fruit bearing plants.  Did I mention our water source, if we don’t continuously refill the water can from the tub, is a few floors away from the Earthboxes?

My husband carried up our trusty old hose & then hoisted it from over the side of the garden to connect with the water source about 25 feet below.  He then tied a knot in the hose so that all I would have to do is run down the stairs (assuming he wasn’t around) and turn on the faucet, then run back up four flights to start filling the water tubes in the Earthboxes.

It seemed like there was an awful lot of water being wasted if I manned this operation alone.  Then I had a Eureka moment.  When we were staying at our friend’s cottage stalking wily wild trout on a beautiful spring-fed stream, we ended each night's fishing talking around the blazing firepit.  One night we extinguished the fire with the hose.  It had a spray gun attachment.  No water came out of the hose until a lever was pulled on that attachment.  I thought I could just get to Pamida and pick up a hose attachment to attach to our trusty hose.

So earlier this week (nope I didn’t pick up the attachment from Pamida) I hit the biggest Ace Hardware store in Chicago! And chose a spray gun attachment.  Did you know there are several different types of wands (for the peaceniks) and guns (for you 2nd Amendment lovers) that you could use to quench the thirst of your garden?  I didn’t.  After about 15 minutes of thinking about the options I chose a gun and then I also picked up an 8 cup glass pyrex measuring cup & one of those programmable thermostat devices as well.

I rushed home and raced upstairs to the garden.  I then fought with the frakking packaging on the gun attachment.  I gave up trying to remove the gun from its packaging and gave it to my husband to remove.  He couldn’t get it out either.  The garden was doused with lots of wasted water that evening. 

The next day it rained.  My husband and I disagree on how thirsty the garden is.  I insist they need to be personally watered.  He reminds me that a typhoon just hit our back deck.  He wins.  The plants are left without additional watering.  They plot their revenge.  I am still inside during this typhoon trying to remove the packaging from my new spray gun.  I pull and pull and tug and twist at an inaccessible plastic disc that attaches my spray gun to its cardboard packaging.  Finally the stupid plastic disc comes out; my spray gun is now unholstered.  The sheets of rain have stopped. 

I rush out the back door to the garden and greet the spiders, yep they are the only pesticide I use, along with the ladybugs & they just appeared as the garden grew.  I manage to move my sprawl culture tomatoes & bolting mustard and kale out of the way so that I can reach the railing where our hose is knotted and waiting.  I untie it and prepare an introduction to the spray gun.  The spray gun is attached, dawn has occurred and the husband is on a conference call.  I figure I can do a quick watering before I head out to work.  The dog joins me.  She adores the garden and its produce.  She likes being there. 

I bolt back down the stairs and the dog follows me so that she can hit the surf, I mean her backyard while I turn on the faucet.  As I make my ascent back up the stairs I see water falling from off the deck. Tarnation!  The spray gun is attached but leaking.  I water the plants and most importantly myself because I always bathe with my clothes on outside in the garden.  Once the water supply is shut off, I take off the spray gun and try to figure out the problem.  The hose connection is bent.  The spray gun will never be in synch with our old hose.  Onward and upward, I did say the hose was old right?

Buying a new hose was a lot like my husband’s thoughts on purchasing toothpaste.  Way too many choices at my nearby big box hardware store.  There were coiled hoses, black hoses, hoses for hot water, light duty hoses with 3 year warranty, medium duty hoses with 7 year warranty, 6 feet, 25 feet, 50 feet, 75 feet, and 150 feet hoses.  Then the coolest hose of all, a flat hose, it moistens through some sort of secreting through the hose concept, so I gathered from the drops of water on the hose but none coming out of the connecting ends pictured on its packaging.  After what seemed an eternity of me picking up hoses and putting them back down a woman helped me choose the never kink style of hose.

Once I got it home I raced upstairs to the garden and vegetables’ revenge was evident.  Many of my plants seemed to have shriveled, while complying by continuing to put out produce.  Now where is my spray gun?  Where’s the spray gun?  It’s not between the sorrel & chard on top of the Earthbox like I thought.  It isn’t on the floor of the Earthbox that is filled with okra and crowder peas either.  Oh, is it on my desk?  No.    It is just inside the door where I keep garden ties, mulch covers, scissors, and remnants of organic potting mix.  I’m now ready to cook with gas right?


 I easily get a secure connection between the spray gun and the new hose.  Yep, I tossed the hose over the side of the railing and contemplated shimmying down said hose like they do in those cat burglar movies.  I didn’t.  Instead I knotted off my new rope, er hose, and headed downstairs to connect the hose to the faucet.  The old hose refuses to be replaced.  I can’t disconnect if from the faucet.  Thwarted, again, I ask my husband where are the pliers.  He’s too busy to say much more than “I don’t know.  Wait.  I’m busy with work right now.”  So I wait.  

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