August 8, 2012

Sand Point Saga

Filed under: Action,Gardening,History — Tags: , , , , — Ralph E. Cook @ 3:50 am

Dear Campers,

This year for Independents Day we decided to drive our own sand point well here at camp.  After 33 days and many lessons learned we now have free water!  Why run a point you may ask?  Answer: the chemicals silly.  Why water your garden with fluoride and chlorine?

As you can see we hit sand and gravel 2.5 feet down.  You would think that this would make for easy pounding, but their was nothing easy about driving this sand point.  The post pounder that we had borrowed had a broken handle on one side and after awhile the other handle came loose.  Lesson one:  you can borrow or rent for cheap a heavy duty reinforced post pounder from most hardware stores.  If I would have known this, I would have still been able to write my name for a few days after pounding.  This brings us to lesson two:  find some friends and neighbors to help you drive the well.  We were fortunate to have help from our neighbors on this project, but let me tell you the MORE THE MERRIER!

So at the end of the first day our pipe had started to slant to one side because we had hit a rock, but after discovering water at 14 feet, I was still hopeful that everything would work out.  The next morning I pounded a few more feet until the pipe broke about 8 feet down!  Lesson three:  shop around for your well supplies cause this shit ain’t cheep!   We were hell bent on driving this point for the 4th of July so I had just picked everything up at one place.  Now that I had to do it all again I found out that the farm supply stores are a good place to find the cheapest point, but you want to buy your pipe at a hardware store that threads pipe. So rather than dowsing to find the “easiest” place for my next attempt, I just moved a few feet over and started the pounding process again.  This time I hit water at 14 feet, but had read ONLINE that you want to drive the well until the pipe will stay filled with water when you pour down it.  This caused me to drive down to 21 feet, but when I tried the pump, it had pressure but no water came out.  Lesson 4 & 5:  it’s best to find someone who has lived through a few sagas and for me this person was the guy at the pipe threading hardware store.  He informed me that no you don’t need the pipe to stay filled with water and that I had likely drove the well too deep!  So next the neighbors and I tried to exhume this dead well with a bumper jack which was no easy task for us or the jack, so finally the jack gave up and broke.  This lead to asking for help from a different neighbor who has a few large toys to play with and I’m glad I did because the well was so stuck in the clay that the back tires of the front end loader started to come off the ground and then finally the point resurfaced.

So when I went to the threading store to pickup the pounder for the 4th time, I asked if I could drive down the same hole as before and the answer was yes.  A few hours later I was taking one of the coldest/best feeling showers of my life!  At first the water was pretty silty, but after pumping for awhile it started to clean up.  The water tastes great, just like old fashioned farm water, but I do plan to send it in to be tested before sharing it with anyone.  A good sign is that Smokey the dog likes it.  The best part is now the produce from our garden will be chemical free.  If you are still living in the fluoride fog, I recommend checking this site out:

It is time we ended this forced flawed experiment!

Much love,


June 11, 2012

Hey, it’s been awhile!

Filed under: Barter Fest,Gardening,Music,Recording — Tags: , , , — Ralph E. Cook @ 7:49 pm

Dear Campers,

Yeah, it’s been awhile!  Hope you are taking advantage of the wonderful Summer so far.  This evening we finished planting the garden here at the Abandoned Scout Camp.  This ends the 3+ month process of starting seedlings in doors and in the cold frame and then finally transplanting outside.  It appears that this year’s crop could be better than ever.  It amazes me how the gardens keep multiplying year after year.  Someday we hope to lose the yard completly and only have gardens!  (Smokey would not care too much for this.)  Well we have been busy, I promise.  Music making is in the air and in the hall.  Leon Boots spent this past weekend at camp laying down more tracks for their upcoming album to be released on A.S.C.  You can listen in to this and other projects at:

Our attention has also turned to this year’s Barter Fest September 22nd, 2012.  You will find Leon Boots, The Juggernauts and many more acts to be announced over the next few months at this year’s Barter Fest.  This one is not to be missed!  For real.

Love always,

Ralph E. Cook

May 3, 2010

Ants in my hot box?

Filed under: Gardening — Tags: , — Ralph E. Cook @ 5:57 pm

The ants have infested our cold frame/hot box.  We should be gnawing on fresh spinach and lettuce right now, but instead here I sit an ant hater.  Do you think anyone has ever domesticated an ant eater?  I probably should have countered their offensive when I first noticed the little buggers sawing down the purple cauliflower like the settlers of Hewitt took down the white pine.  I guess maybe it was the hippy in me that thought everyone could co exist in the cold frame.   Lesson learned:  when it comes to your food, sharing only happens after the harvest.

Tomorrow I will try to destroy the ants with corn meal and coffee grounds.  So far the 50/50 concoction of water & apple cider vinager doesn’t seem to do anything but stink up the cold frame.

April 27, 2010

So what ya gonna Barter?

Filed under: Art,Barter Fest,Camping,Gardening,History,Music — Tags: — Ralph E. Cook @ 5:54 pm

The Hewitt Barter Fest is an all day trade stuff/music/camping Festival held September 18th, 2010 in Hewitt, MN.  Please contact us if you have questions and or would like to be apart of the fun!

April 2, 2010

Cold Frame #1

Filed under: Gardening — Tags: — Ralph E. Cook @ 5:39 am

Hey Campers,

We have planted our first cold frame.  Built out of a patio door, rigid insulation and cinder blocks, the first crop will include Spinach, Baby Bok Choy, Purple Carrots, Purple Cauliflower and Red Onions.

Update 4/7 it’s alive!:

Tomorrow I will pick up a book at the library all about building cold frames, so then I can find out everything I did wrong!

Update 4/7:  Jeff Ashton says don’t use glass for your cold frame because it’s dangerous, I say too late!  Today’s outside temperature at A.S.C. 48 degrees inside the cold frame = 95 degrees!

Once again we have been a bit out of touch, but there is lots of good news to share, so stop back soon.

Peace 4 real,


August 11, 2009

Zucchini Bigfoot Sighting

Filed under: Gardening — Tags: , — Ralph E. Cook @ 12:42 pm

Dear Campers,

Even though it may seem like we have fallen off the edge of the world, don’t worry we’re still hangin’ here on the edge!

blonde bigfoot? Yep.

Today, the blonde Bigfoot hunted for the garden gopher.

Bigfoot's weapon of choice

Bigfoot’s weapon of choice

A long time has passed since our last letter from camp.  Life is good.  Gardening is great.  Peace is possible.  Let’s try it!

As you can see the food has started to arrive.  This could be the best time to visit if your planning a trip?  We haven’t forgotten about you and we hope that you haven’t lost HOPE.

All our best,

A. S. C.

Powered by WordPress