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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A Hard Way To Gain Ground


Thats my dad standing beside the water flowing from the floating slough pump we just set up on the slough in the background. It may be relaxing to watch the flowing water but it involved some hard labour getting everything set up . It was the spring of 1979 and likely a couple of weeks before spring planting judging by the remaining snowbanks.
That big flat slough in the background covered some pretty productive soil that would only grow bulrushes if we could not get it dry enough to seed a crop. I don't recall how successful it was but it was always a gamble pumping out these sloughs. Hours of setting up and pumping could all be literally washed away by a heavy rain storm that would flood the land again.
The floating pump was one heavy unit to carry out into the water. Wearing hip waders and sinking in the mud at every step. On a windy day you needed to get that long length of light plastic collapsible hose anchored down or filled with water before the wind took it and twisted it up in a tangle. Every few hours (or less) you needed to walk out into the water with fuel for the engine.
Nowadays that slough is probably about twice the size it was in 79. I just drive around it, plant what I can and hope for a return to normal moisture conditions one of these days.

4 comments:

  1. Maybe you need to grow wild oats, or water chinquapins, or something.

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    1. Wild oats will grow almost anywhere but not in water. Plus there is no market for them. They don't even make good cattle feed. I need to start marketing them as organic, "natural" black oats for the organic fanatics I guess.

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