Saturday, June 5, 2010

Holy Water!

No, I didn't go to church (is my mother reading this? Argh- I think she has me figured out by now anyway).  In our efforts to build our garden of fresh, organic produce, hubby and I ran into a discussion about water.  Gardens need it.  Depending upon the weather, they could need a lot of it.  Our water supply comes from a private well.  In my recent internet surf sessions about eco-friendly practices, water conservation is frequently a topic that comes up.  It seems that we often take our "unlimited" safe, clean, water supply for granted.  So, we started talking.  There was talk about drip hoses, irrigation systems and just regular "get your butt out to the garden with a watering can" type talk as we (mostly hubby) decided how we would keep this garden hydrated.  The thought of turning on the faucet to our outdoor hose and just leaving it on for extended periods of time, running our well, made me nervous....until hubby came up with the solution: rain barrels.  I had heard of them....I saw them online, but I didn't know if they would truly be effective.  Today, I am here to tell you that effective they are!

First, hubby scored some 55 gallon barrels off of someone on Craig's List.  I liked this idea because it was giving new life to a used product that may have otherwise been thrown away.  He painted them to match our house (I know- the paint may not have been environmentally friendly, but as I said, we are a work in progress).  He installed spigots, a screen to filter out solids and piping to link 2 barrels together and send overflow through our gutter system.  Here they are:
Shortly after they were installed, there was forecast of rain.  We waited.  Would we actually get enough water to take care of the garden?  It rained, as forecasted, overnight.  It didn't pour rain like crazy- just enough that you could hear it with the window open.  The next morning, hubby went out to the barrels and came in like a kid in a candy shop.  They were full.  Completely full.  One night of rain had provided 110 gallons of water.  Like I said, Holy Water!  I never imagined that we would get that much water, that quickly.

Since our first night of rain, I think it is safe to say that the rain barrels have taken care of over 90% of the garden's watering.  Hubby ran a hose down the hill to the garden and it gets plenty of pressure to ensure those tasty veggies get what they need.  We have ran into a few small obstacles with the sealant used on the spigots, but we're working that out and couldn't be happier with the results.  Why didn't we think of this before????

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