Solar Food and Barrels of Rain

04 May

It’s pouring cats and dogs out there, and all the rain is washing away. But not for long.

Grandma Bartmann always had a full barrel of rain water sitting next to the house. I think it was an old wine barrel. She dipped in it to water flowers every day, and it filled up with every new spring and summer shower. I’m going all rain barrel crazy this spring. I picked up two steel drums from a neighbor last weekend–they used to hold ice cream for Dairy Queen, and will soon be storing rain water for my gardens. I also ordered a rain barrel from the Living Green Expo that Jaim and I went to a couple days ago. I was jazzed to pick it up, but was pretty bummed when I picked it up. I thought I was getting a nice big reused barrel converted into a rain catcher. It will catch rain, but it’s brand new plastic. Not a reuse at all. Duped. It was the only thing I can complain about from the whole weekend. I put it together last night, but didn’t get it tapped into the rain spout soon enough to put it into action tonight.  I plan to add one more barrel to my system for the spring, rounding it out at four. Shouldn’t need any pay-for-it water on the gardens all summer.

The bigger news is I bought a solar oven at the expo. Tried it out Monday, and to my surprise, it cooked rice and baked some corn bread in just three hours. I had very low expectations, since it was cloudy and windy, and I was a solar food virgin. I am super excited about this thing.

It’s just a black box with a clear lid, pretty much. And it bakes like a crock pot, at about 200 degrees, with no fuel at all except the sunshine. Brilliant. We got this one from the guys at S.O.S (Solar Oven Society) in Minneapolis. They run a non profit that sells these things in the states and use the profits to take some over to poor countries each year on mission trips. Places where people don’t have clean water (this thing will pasturize the h2o), and a fire in a place where wood is scarce is the only cooking option. Hope you’ll come over and try my next experiment.

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Posted by on May 4, 2009 in Food, gadgets, garden, going green, rants


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