[identity profile] gailmom.livejournal.com
Just a quick post so I'll have this here for later, since one of our goals is to harvest rainwater.

F=footprint of roof (which is equal to square feet of ground covered)

R= average rainfall per year, in inches

to convert cubic feet to gallons, multiply by 7.5

So, according to food not lawns by H.C. Flores, who apparently got this formula from Toby Hemenway who wrote Gaia's Garden (I note this because the formula doesn't actually make sense to me, so I can't confirm it's right):

7.5(FR/12)=gallons per year of water that your roof can catch.

According to this site, our area gets 40 inches of rain per year. (srsly? ok). Let's say my roof covers 1800 sq ft (which isn't actually accurate, since that is the square footage of our home's living space, and we also have guttered roof over the garage, but close enough for now)...

Therefore 7.5[ (1800X40)/12]= (where the heck is my calculator....brb)

ok, here it is.

Holy @(%^#@%(@*#&$

*ahem*

So that would be roughly 45,000 gallons of rainwater we are currently not doing anything with.....huh. Yeah, I'd say it would be worthwhile to put rainbarrels on our list of "good stuff to save for sooner rather than later". Yup. yes. absolutely. wow.

[identity profile] gailmom.livejournal.com
it's full of...numbers!

Just spent about 2 1/2 hours (not counting breaks, there were three of those) working on a shopping list for our supply run tomorrow. I wanted to know what we needed to get that would need the U-haul we are renting (cross your fingers on that one, cuz I didn't get a chance today, between trips to Brenham, picking up a ceiling fan from Craigslist, and dealing with sick kiddos, to actually call and reserve one) so we could get all the stuff for foreseeable projects while we had the truck. That meant figuring out what we need for the immediate chicken pen project, plus the extension we have planned, plus the front fence. Didn't figure out hardware, cuz I haven't figured out what I actually have already, but that stuff fits in my car or even on my bike, so no biggie. Course, to figure that, first I had to plot it out.

We saved $150 by planning it this way. Cuz it let us look at totals and go..."holy water barrels, batman!" and find a couple of gates we maybe didn't need quite as much as we thought. weee! See, planning saves you money. :P (or it can anyway)

So tomorrow: Final measurement on one section we didn't have measurements for (not gonna try to get those in the dark), then any quick recalculation that needs doing and we are off to u-haul. Rent a truck, head to Lowes, head to McCoy's. Back here to unload. And if we feel really nuts, head out to the old place with the U-haul and the wheelbarrow....put a for sale sign up on the land, and pick up all the bricks left there for use as patio paving. Don't know about that last bit, but we'll see. *wry grin* Return U-haul. Collapse.

That's the plan. We'll let you know how it goes. :P
[identity profile] gailmom.livejournal.com
Lest you think I've *only* been laying around laughing when [livejournal.com profile] gryphynshadow  realizes she has put a garden box 50 feet underground in google sketch, and making comments like "that's great, but where are the windows?" and then running away to avoid being strangled....

I have also been practicing my own obsession. It involved dollar signs of course, that's where many of my obsessions lead to.

I've been using the internet, a notebook, and a calculator (with a couple trips out back with the tape measure, where Monkey helped me measure things and then absconded with the tape measure for the rest of the day) to figure out the best way to build our chicken pen.

[livejournal.com profile] laughingturtle  did her chicken pen the quick and easy way, which was tempting to me. She bought a dog kennel, installed it, then put chicken wire across the top. That has worked fairly well for her, but I hesitated to use it in our yard. We have a creek running behind our property, which means we get good things like dragonflies, geckos and other lizards, bees and butterflies, etc. But we also get not-so-good things like raccoons, snakes (including poisonous ones), mosquitos, and possoms.

So whatever structure we build needs to be proof against raccoons and at least the larger snakes. The openings in a pre-built dog kennel might be too big for that.

I did make a materials list, check measurements of what would fit in the area we have designated the chicken space, etc. and figured it, just in case we decided that convenience now was worth "gambling" on whether the dog kennel would work in our yard.

The dog kennel version *seemed* cheaper at $222 (all sums are including tax). But if marauding creatures cause us to have to backfit the pen with poultry netting, we will end up at $320  for the whole thing by the time we are done.

Using t-posts, poultry netting, and two purchased gates, we end up spending $366 incl. tax for certain BUT that actually ends up cheaper if you assume that the snakes I've seen in my yard aren't above stealing chickens and eggs.

Kennel kit option if we don't have to backfit: $222 fora  7 1/2' X 13' X 6' tall pen= 97.5 sq ft of space, at $2.27 per sq foot

Kennel kit option if we do have to backfit: $320 for a 7 1/2 X 13' X 6 foot tall pen= 97.5 sq ft of space, at $3.28 per sq foot

"Build it yourself" option: $366 for a 20' X 8' X 6 foot tall pen= 160 sq ft of space, at $2.29 per sq foot

Given those numbers, and how close the price per square foot is even if we "gamble" and win, the conclusion has been that even with the extra initial labor involved, the poultry netting pen is the way to go. It will absolutely take longer, but we will know we don't have to worry about raccoons, and at 1"x1" squares, hopefully any snake that can get in will be small enough for the chickens to kill and eat. :P

I'm headed out of town this weekend and next (J is ecstatic at the idea of some time alone in the house *grin*), so the obtaining of supplies and installing of chicken pen have been scheduled for the last two weekends of this month. If we are very lucky, we'll manage to round up some volunteers before then. :D

[identity profile] gailmom.livejournal.com
We are amusing ourselves in the back yard for now, since it has more finished beds (hard to get less finished than non-existent, which is what the front has), but we are starting the planning phase of the front yard. Hopefully with an eye toward getting it going this fall, with a "raincheck" date of next spring. So here, for any of you curious, is the info and pics of the front yard.

Cut for multiple pics )

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