small farm tales

The url `’ also points to this site … yes, that’s intentional!  I also help my wife run a small farm.  As soon as I better figure out WordPress, we’ll post some of our `tales’.



Wadder1, aka water, is a major issue on a farm. Farm creatures need water. Big animals need lots of water. Water is also heavy. Carrying water for the farm creatures can be quite a labor. Fortunately, farm animals do not necessarily need tap water, even though some do get it. Generally we deliver water to them via hoses and then buckets, from the water faucets at the house. But rain water also works just fine. Pictured are a line of various buckets, basins, etc. lined up under the eave of a goat barn I just built for my wife. They catch the rain as it runs off the low end of the roof. It rains here … I mean really rains. These basins filled quickly in recent rains. And the goats can drink freely from the basins. Between rains the water might get a bit murky and apparently becomes part of the cycle of mosquito and other life. The captured water may or may not be enough to last between rains in the drier part of the year, and we plan to install gutters and bigger catchment to catch and store more. We also plan to add a couple cows. And until then, even though it looks like there is a lot of water captured, a LOT goes to waste. Let’s see …

basins to catch rain water

… in the past 48 hours we have received 7 ½ inches of rain.

The `plan area’ of the roof is 14 feet (ft) by 27 ft, or 378 square ft (sq ft).

An inch (depth) of rain falling on the roof, or 1/12th of a foot (depth) of rain, on 378 sq ft of roof, is …

1/12th ft of rain times 378 sq ft of roof equals 31.5 cubic feet of rain.

There are 7.482 gallons in a cubic foot (of water) …

So, 1 inch of rain (20-minute downpour) delivers … 7.482 x 31.5 equals 236 gallons!

Whoa, just filled all those troughs (1 inch of rain).

Seven and a half inches … 7 ½ x 236 = 1768 gallons!

We’re thinking of using `totes’ that can carry 330 gallons each …

That will be 1768 gallons divided by 330 gallons per tote … 5.36 … 6 totes!

That’s a lot of totes … a lot of water.

But goats, and soon cows, need lots of water.

Update – we just got the cows.

Oh, here’s a calc … we own 32 acres total. One inch of rain drops … check my math …

236 gallons / 378 square feet – inch of rain = 0.624 gallon / sq-ft-in. …

So, 32 acres x 43,560 sq-ft per acre x 0.624 gallon / sq-ft = 870,278 gallons (per inch of rain) …

Other Update – Monday … we got downpour after downpour … our rain gage topped out at 5 inches; my wife said we got 8 inches that day … `wadder’ everywhere! … `rivers’ across our property. I expected to see salmon flopping their way upstream!

8 inches of rain, on 32 acres! … 6.96 million gallons!



Update … getting some `catchment’ going …

wadder catchment @ goat barn


1Pronunciation `wadder’ is taken from Lord Grizzly, Frederick Manfred, 1954, the account of Hugh Glass, mountain man, attacked by a grizzly bear, and left for dead.