Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Potstickers and ditches

Its a weird combination, I know. But I'm still on my kick to find new ways to fill the gaping void of ethnic food in this small town. So check it out, pot stickers:

Honestly I don't know the difference between pot stickers and gyoza, but wow these turned out great. I used (loosely, of course) this recipe. For the filling, I used the rest of the smoked duck from the other day along with carrot, garlic, ginger, cabbage, and soy sauce. Its probably 5 minutes of cooking and prep time longer than making eggrolls. Totally worth it.

So it turns out there's some other folks out there digging ditches so I guess we are all in this together. Today we worked on filling another downspout from the garage and also on a perpetually wet, low spot at the bottom of the hill. Luckily we were able to trolley several loads of gravel down in the cart pulled behind garden tractor that I'm forbidden to drive. But we are still pretty tired. We are supposed to get a lot of weather tonight/tomorrow so we'll see if our trenches are working.

One of the questions was "what do you do at the end of the trench?" Here's the end of one of our trenches, with Dog#1 for scale:
The drainage pipe will emerge here, and be above ground.

The theory is that, provided you are on a hill, you follow the desired slope with your trench until you get to a hillside. The trench ends at the point where the hillside meets your desired slope. Clear as mud? Of course, we are going to have to make provisions for this trench end. We need to make sure we aren't just creating a huge erosion problem.

For the last several weeks I've been watching a roadside project with a new big culvert. After they built the ditch and pipe to divert the water, they loaded up the slope where the culvert pipe emerges with big rocks. Then they filled in with regular gravel. We can do that. Or more likely we'll connect the drainage pipe with solid pipe and run it down the hill to where there is an actual gully.

Another question was about wrapping the perforated drainage pipe with that geotextile stuff (landscaping fabric). We researched and debated and thought about it and finally decided not to use it. The argument is that the fabric keeps the perforated pipe from getting filled up with silt and sand. The counter argument is that the gravel is really doing all the work.  We decided against the extra expense when we noticed that none of the farmers use anything but the black plastic perforated pipe when laying tile in their fields.

However, that doesn't mean its the right answer for everyone. For normal backyard projects I think its a good idea. But soil type and other factors will make the decision for your area and project.

We also realize that two days with a trencher and some gravel may not solve all our drainage problems. We aren't going to for the gold standard by any means, we just need to solve some immediate issues. So for heavens sakes if you are about to undertake digging your own ditches be sure to do your research. I thought this made it fairly simple and was a good explanation. And this guy made sense to me - but the ads on the site are pretty distracting.

But in the end I think that a lot of folks look at all the work that is required.... and then just decide to hire someone who knows what they are doing. Us? Well, we're doing what we can with what we have to work this. Until Santa brings me that tractor with the bucket on it, that is.

Happy Tuesday everyone! I'm hoping for rain so I can take a day off!


Naomi Banta said...


those should help your ethnic fix! (More Japanese than Chinese but..)

Samantha said...

Oh great. Now all I'll want to eat is potstickers! It's an addiction, I tell you ;)

Tina - Our Rustic Roots said...

Thanks for adding more info. and the picture! I'm glad it's working so far, too. No way I would want all your work to be for nothing.

Sonja said...

Oh Lord... again with the drool on the keyboard. The one food thing I miss most is potstickers. Stupid pig allergy. Those trenches actually look pretty good. I think you two have a good plan. I wonder if T.J.'s has any duck today.

Sonja wanders off again.......

David said...

MMM Pot stickers - next add korean BBQ - Any thought to Capturing any of that water?

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carolyn said...

Nice look'n pot stickers. I'm still on the hunt for Tai Noodles with chicken and cashews. Sometimes, I miss the city :(

Jody said...

We love potstickers. Belle makes them once in a while and everyone gobbles them up! I bet they were a big hit at your place too.

Mr. H. said...

A pot sticker, I'm definitely missing out on something, I have never had one but do love that type of food...well I love most any type of food.:)

Hope your new drainage system works out, sounds like a well thought out system to me.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Thanks for that, OFG. I have confit de canard curing in the cellar. I'll have these potstickers in January.

old fashioned said...

Mmmm, potstickers...now you're talkin. Hope you haven't broken your back on those ditches. Take care there girlie.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Thanks Naomi!

Its totally an addiction, Samantha..there's just something about them.

You said it, Tina! Let us know how your project goes.

Hey Sonja! I cant have the crab ones that everyone loves.. pork allergy! Sheesh what a heartbreak! Sorry baby.

Hey D! Yep - but we have a pond so we are actually go - room to improve tho.

Hey Carolyn - Thai noodles... yum....

Jody, we are gaga for them for sure!

Thanks Mr. H, so far so good...

Hi Ken! Great to see you - and thanks for your notes on 'how to' confit!

Hey OF! geez.. you can get them a dime a dozen.. around here they are a precious commodity!

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