Rathfinny Wine Estate

377 Trees to Water? Simples

It was a typical off the cuff comment to our tree man, Richard Bartlett, a few weeks ago that put me on the hunt for the perfect way to water 377 young trees. “Should I be praying for rain” I laughingly remarked after noticing on our weather station we’d only had 6mm in two rather pleasant weeks. “You mean you haven’t been watering them?” he replies incredulously. “Umm,  errr , well not exactly, no”.  Straight on to the phone to Mark and a few minutes later we have a plan. Rent a water bowser locally and we would do it the next day, simples! Well it would have been if any of the  machinery hire places within a radius of 100 miles actually had one on their forecourt. Back on the phone to Mark, right we’ll buy one he decides, so I’m back on the internet and the phone to find someone who can deliver a 400 gallon water bowser quickly. An hour or so later I find a company who can deliver one the following afternoon, a quick card transaction and the deal is done, simples!

So I wait and watch for the delivery truck the following day, not so simples, it does not turn up. 24 hours later and it arrives, and we are only 2 days behind schedule. The truck driver parks up in front of the farm buildings rolls up the canvas and there it is, a beautiful blue bowser on it’s shiny galvanised trailer, all 990kg of it. “Got a forklift handy, luv?” “No, why?”I reply unnecessarily- a penny is slowly dropping and I know why alright, it’s a meter off the ground, weighs a ton and he has no apparent means of unloading it. The charming driver scratches his head and looks bemused “I wondered ow I was gonna get it orf when they was loading it this morning” Long story short and many expletives/phone calls later, Duncan the contract farmer comes to the rescue with a JCB with two big prong thingy’s on the front and it is expertly placed on Rathfinny soil, but not before I realise the coupling on the trailer needs a pin not a ball as on our truck tow bar. Oh boy here we go again, more phone calls and a trip to Eastbourne the following day and we have a bowser full of water attached to the truck and only three days behind schedule.

Mark comes down to help the next day after Plumpton, stands at the top  the first line of trees, turns on the tap and……a mere trickle of water limps out of the hose. Using a 2 litre plastic milk container we work out that it will take 160 seconds per tree , there are 377 trees, you do the math! Suffice to say by the time we clocked off we had 347 left to do. We needed a pump, simples!

Back on the phone and back  to the shops for me and with the help of the wonderful Tony Robbards (our handy man) the next day we are good to go with a hose and a wand, a pump that pumps a gallon of water every 15 seconds and an extension that  plugs the whole contraption into the cigarette lighter – only five days behind schedule and the trees are watered. Simples!

Our little blue boswer in action!

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