Naturally Colored and Naturally Plant Dyed Wool, Fiber and Fur

“Only he can understand what a farm is, what a country is, who shall have sacrificed part of himself to his farm or country, fought to save it, struggled to make it beautiful. Only then will the love of farm or country fill his heart.“ Antoine de Sainte-Exupery (1900-1944);(1900 1944); Aviator, Writer

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Fund Raiser for a Water Meter

There are a few updates to the water situation (not good) and I have edited the post below to reflect the new issues rather than add a new post.

We have started a fund raising campaign for a rural water meter. We only have well water and the last two years of extreme weather here has left us with a frozen pump or dried up well most of the time (7 months out of the last 12) We have had temperatures over 100 degrees in about 25 of the last 30 days so this increases the water use severely considering consumption as well as evaporation. Hauling water is getting really expensive with the current gas prices (most of the cost is the gas) and the weather problems are hard on the equipment so the pump has gone out several times and now we have other problems with the pipes down inside the well that we can't fix ourselves anymore, and we no longer have running water again. We have been waiting sixteen days for someone to come out and try to fix what we can't fix ourselves (we call and they say they will come and then they don't show up) and in the mean time, its back to five gallon buckets and working out of the water tank rather than from the pump or faucets. This is not just for our stock tanks, this is for running water in our house as well. Its something we all take for granted until its not working. Since 75% of my income is from dyed wool and fiber, the lack of running water and the time involved in hauling and carrying it in, severely inhibits my ability to make a living and sustain the ranch.

You can easily and safely donate through paypal from the donation box at the top of the blog at or if you would like to help us spread the word click on the "Add to Site" link in the donation box and you can share our donation box with your friends on your own blog or website and all proceeds will go directly to our water meter fund. You will also show up as a supporter and anyone that donates through your box on your site will show under your name as funds raised as a supporter.

For those that are unable to view the box you can just go to paypal at http://www.paypal.comand click on send money, then chose personal gift and send to and it will go into the fund, but it won't show up on the ticker.

Ipad users that are unable to view the donation box because its flash, can get an app called Photon (not free) that is supposed to be able to work with flash - I believe its a kind of browser and you click the lightning bolt (these are instructions from someone else so hopefully I haven't messed them up). But of course that is up to whether you might want the app, otherwise you can just donate through paypal as above.

We now have a separate ticker going on facebook - you can click on the Give folder to view it and share or you can view the posts to find the one that works directly on facebook and is easily shared on that network - just visit our facebook page at

The first picture shows our creek bed and dried up pasture in its current state, the second pix shows what it is supposed to look like. Both pictures are standing in the same spot, one is looking up the creek to the left and normal one is looking straight across the creek.


Since the well is what you would call dried up now (as well as the creeks and most of the ponds) we have to haul water from town a couple of times a day and since the well system is broken, we can't even use the well as a holding area or the pump to get the water running at all now.

While we don't pay a monthly fee for water now like we would if we were to get rural water, the hauling of the water costs between $70-150 per week now depending on how many trips into town we have to make per day and how much the price of gas is on any given day (that would be the equivalent of your water bill being $280-$600 a month.) Crazy right? The water fee is minimal, the gas is the major part of this expense. If we were able to hook up to rural water, we would no longer have the continual freezing problems in winter and would not run out of water unless the whole town did during these horrible droughts. And would not have to spend hours upon hours hauling water and working on the pump system as well as exhorbitant utility prices for space heaters to keep the wellhouse heated on those below freezing days which even fails at subzero conditions. A monthly bill of $50-150 (closer to what we are spending per week now) would be doable and would be nothing compared to the costs we are currently piling up that we really can't afford.

The rural water meter cost is $5500 just for the meter (quite shocking for me!!), thats just to put the meter in--the water is already going across my front yard underground (I know because when we were digging fence poles, we had to call to check the lines) plus $75 for the engineers to see if the system can handle another customer which I thought was a deposit but its just another fee. We would need to hire a plumber and trencher to get from the meter to the house as well so I have estimated this cost at about $1500, not sure if this is enough but I hope it will be in the neighborhood, but we should be able to do most of it for that. These costs are way out of our reach and with the other increased costs resulting from higher feed and fuel costs as well as the current drought situation and the soon to come price increases for hay which we will need about twice the normal amount of this year and everything farm related going sky high, I don't know how else to come up with this much money other than to start a fundraiser. Its a really good cause!!

These two pictures show one of my neighbors dried up corn crop and is typical of all the fields around here. This is a scary sight for anyone.


Thanks to any and all for your support. No contribution is too small and any contribution is greatly appreciated.


AlpacaRenee said...

Two years ago my well pump went out during the summertime. I only had to haul water for a few days and only from a neighboring farm, but it is hard work! Not to mention the fuel cost and hours spent. My heart goes out to you in this stressful time. At the time I was hauling water I had about 55 alpacas and it was over 100 degrees. No fun. On my way over to Paypal to make a donation. Bless you!

Alpaca Granny said...

It must be horrible to have to haul water. I can't imagine.... Hopefully, we can help you get fixed up. Hugs to you and the critters.

natchwoolie said...

Thank you so much, I so appreciate your help and kindness!

Heidirific said...

I am so sorry that you are having to deal with this. Have you looked into Kickstarter as another way to raise money?

Belladune said...

I hope my little part makes a bigger impact. I've blogged, and Shared on twitter, and facebook. I think we need to call on Matt, of The Oatmeal... he knows how to fundraise like a machine..

natchwoolie said...

I just found out about kickstarter a few days ago, but I haven't had a chance to check into it and I heard about IndieGoGo too, hopefully this weather will ease up a little so I can have a little more time to look at some of these other fundraising ideas. Thank you so much Heidirific!

natchwoolie said...

Thank you Belladune for sharing and blogging - it all helps, everyone is so kind and caring.

Unknown said...

Nice blog.
ruiedqG P Hardware is among the most prominent distributors and suppliers of a wide variety of Industrial Hardware Products. There range includes a vast variety of Pipes and Fittings, hand tools and rubber products.Water meter manufacturers

Unknown said...

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you that some of these storms start to come your way to at least give you some breathing space. If you were closer I'd come give you a hand. We had severe drought here in Michigan as well for the first six months of the year, and all the farmers were severely impacted. It's raining now on a regular basis, but for most crops it is too late. It is really sad to see farmers plowing under 25 acres or more of blueberries.

Belladune said...

I just did something crazy. I posted this page on The Oatmeal's (Matt Inman) facebook page. He's raised excessively large amounts of money for random things in the past, and maybe posting it there might generate a few more donations, at least.

Anyway. I might get a crass response, (Or 100....or more) But what ever, I can hope it helps, just a bit.

natchwoolie said...

thanks so much! Dixie yes its driving me crazy to see all the wasted crops

natchwoolie said...

Aww that's so sweet Belladune it never hurts to try!