Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ditch Complete!

Right, so where did we last leave off?  Dig a big ol' trench, with the bottom 20 feet level (in our case, the bottom 12 feet are level, and we felt like that was good enough!)... and then... put that row cover netting under the last 20 feet of pipe (the only part with holes for drainage).  This row cover is meant to keep roots from invading the drainage system.  Fill with 2-3 inches of crushed rock (lucky we still have quite a stash from building our pilings earlier in the summer!) and lay the perforated pipe on top.  Fill with more rock around the sides, and about 1 inch on top, and fold the fabric over the whole thing.  You want a good rock burrito!
 Then we just filled in the rest of the hole with the dirt we had dug out.  The pipe above the 20 perforated feet is solid, and just has dirt around it- no gravel necessary.
Our pipe joints were stuck together with some kind of purple liquid and gooey glue made for this purpose.  It was pretty to look at, but it stinks up the place!
After we got most of the ditch filled, we attached our up-spout (where our house drainage will lead, after exiting the floor) and filled in the rest of the trench around it.  We even replaced the sod we had dug- you can barely tell we were there, amazingly!  All we really have left is a little pile of dirt I will spread on the gardens.  We thought the proper way to celebrate was with some Native American corn cakes.  This recipe is adapted from one a Wampanoag woman shared.  I found it on a site called Chop Onions, Boil Water (an awesome world-food site)

Nokake (Corn cakes)

2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
(we used rice)
2 TBS honey

1 heaped TBS baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 bunch scallions/green onions (green part only), chopped
(we used chives, about 1 c.)
1 cup fresh sweet corn kernels

Pepper, to taste
(1/2 t.)
3 TBS olive oil
1 egg, beaten

1-1/2 cups water

Mix all but water together in a large bowl.

Slowly add the water until the resulting mixture is the consistency of hot oatmeal.

Heat a big pan, and add some oil.  Pour as much batter as you'd like, making a pancake of sorts (we used 1/4 cup for each).  Cook until done on one side, and flip to cook other side.  When done, brush the surface with butter.

Continue making corn cakes, adding more oil as needed.  These are great with roasted squash on top, and then smoked pork on top of that.  Yum!  

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