Monday, August 8, 2011
Check out these rain barrels!
Hooray! We finally have our rain barrels installed. Commercial rain barrels can be really expensive - $150 each, or even more. We made our own using food-grade barrels that I got from a restaurant (they used to contain crushed tomatoes!). They are 55 gallons each and we have two sets of two linked together. We have a set next to the raised vegetable beds and a set by the chicken coop. We use them for drinking water for the chickens, to water the vegetables, and also to keep the compost piles moist. There is a screen over the one open barrel below the gutter to keep the mosquitoes out and there is an overflow at the top of the closed barrel. They work great and I am so happy that we have them. It is amazing how much water is wasted in a soaking rain! These barrels fill up completely in about 5 minutes if there is a good downpour (typical of the summer thunderstorms that we get). The only thing that we would have done differently is put a larger diameter spigot at the bottom. We used the typical diameter hose, but we should have used bigger to get a faster flow rate. It's not a big deal, but if we build any more we will definitely use the bigger size.