Working the land

We bought our property in January. At the end of the month, our local master gardeners had a tree sale.  We bought 1 of each navel orange, blood orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, apricot, pear, fig, avocado, and some blackberries.  Around the last frost, we went and planted them all.  Every few days, we jumped across the ditch and hauled water from the creek to water everything…walking the 4.5 acres…with 5-gallon buckets of water.  Sometimes we used the wagon when we remembered to bring it.

With record flooding in May…by mid-summer, we were in desperate need of someone to mow the property.  Without a culvert, it was hard to find someone willing, with the right equipment to get across to mow.  We finally found someone, and paid him way too much.  Once.

Now is a good time to mention our wonderful neighbors.  We met them the first day we came out to the property, and we totally lucked out with such good people next to us.  During the summer, as the grass and weeds grew up, when Mr. M next door would mow his lot, he would make a lap around all of the trees making it easier for us to get to them to water.

By the end of the summer (a VERY dry summer on top of one of the wettest Springs), the creek was dry again and we had no way to water the trees.  We hoped that it would rain…or the culvert would be finished.

The culvert won.  Just as we gained access…the rainy season came.  (And we only lost one orange tree and the avocado tree.)

Finally- a box culvert!

There was much drama from the start of the culvert construction until the end.

We contacted Henry in March.  Between permitting and ordering materials and Henry accepting a bigger job than he could handle…construction started in July–4 months later.  We could FINALLY drive onto our land mid-September.

The county would not allow us to build a bridge.  It had to be a “box” culvert.  Henry built a base, then forms for the concrete sides and eventually the top.  We cannot complain at all about the actual construction project.  He did a great job on the concrete box.  Here it is in pictures.

The re-bar used is pretty impressive.  It is 1.5″ in diameter.  There is 15″ of concrete on the top of the culvert.  Hopefully it won’t go anywhere!!!

More rain…And this is why it is so important to have good drainage in our ditch.