Midweek home & garden report
It has perhaps slipped through some of my typing here that we are building a new home. A green home, smaller than the sprawling ranch in which we now live, as energy efficient and self-sufficient as we can manage. Some months ago we settled on a round house which comes in kit form from a company in Asheville, North Carolina, called DelTec. And though I added the link, I would caution curious readers that what we’re building is not going to be the kind of showplace they homepage when trying to attract new buyers.
Point being that the home comes in kit form on the back of a semi truck. Originally we were prepared for two semis, but we simplified things so much that it fit in one 52-foot tractor trailer.
Good so far? A round house in a square box? Right.
Delivery date was set months back for Monday, June 21, 8 a.m. Summer solstice. Seemed about perfect.
Now, I need to explain that we are building in the foothills of Appalachia, where most of the roads are barely wide enough for two cars, if the drivers like each other and one of them is piloting a subcompact through the weeds. And the roads wind, contours being what they are and all. Branches of several roads lead to our building site, 60 acres which used to belong to my father-in-law (and still do, in a practical sense) on which is to be found a large barn, 70 chickens, our 10,000-square-foot garden, and a quarter-mile road into where our home will be.
Only one of those roads is passable by large truck.
That road happens to run alongside the county’s new Super WalMart, cutting between its parking lot (about a hundred feet up), and a mostly placid river.
Well, y’know, it flooded up here, same as it did down in Nashville, just not as bad.
And WalMart’s parking lot is paved, so all the water which landed on it came cascading down the hill and — surprise! — the road tore up.
So Monday, at 8 a.m., at precisely the same time our home was to be delivered, the road was closed for much needed repairs.
We discovered this last Thursday, about noon.
Long, tedious story short, we arranged with the shipping company to have the house delivered on Sunday (happy father’s day), and ten or eleven of us unloaded it without incident in three hours. A pile of building materials which will become our home.
Yesterday the builder (good lord, I’m not doing this myself) put up 19 of the 20 walls. Instant gratification.
So that’s happening.
Meanwhile it keeps raining. Saturday, when the foundation was finally poured (it’s dark brown, and has radiant floor heating coils circling through it; our floor will be concrete), there was ten percent chance of rain. It rained.
Sunday it held off.
Monday there was zero percent chance of rain. We got about an inch. When wife and daughter went out to see what the foundation looked like with walls on it, we found something rather akin to a swimming pool, on first blush, with a quarter inch of water standing.
Which is fine. Nothing hurt.
Except the garden, from which we propose to eat.
We have now planted corn and beans twice. And the rains have washed them out…twice. Partially, the second time. Instead of six rows of beans, we have two, maybe two and a half. And every time we get it cleaned up enough to run the tiller through and plant some late beans, it rains again. And again. Today it was so wet I couldn’t even dump compost tea on the tomatoes, which seem to be thriving.
And the Japanese beetles have arrived. Again. So that’s what’s happening in Eastern Kentucky.
(I note, in passing, that the original design for the No Depression cover was copped from a 1937 — if memory serves — copy of Home & Garden magazine. My relevance exception in hand…)
The new route in takes more time, and so I can work through most of a CD each way. Alas, not Pieta Brown, though I like the idea of her and very much respect that she and Bo Ramsey drove all the way here from Iowa a couple years back to play the only date standing from a tour that fell apart. Not the Infamous Stringdusters. Very pretty, but… And not Grace Potter, who is also, I suppose, very pretty, and has a fine voice (I am tempted to suggest Alannah Myles as a reference), but…ack.
Ah, well. Another stack tomorrow.