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Building Rain Barrels

I finally (almost) wrapped up the steel ice cream barrell conversion project on Saturday–with lots of help from Uncle Duane and his tools.

I bought two steel barrels from a neighbor for $7.50 each. They used to be full of soft serve ice cream mix (I got them with just an inch or so of the sugary goo left in the bottom). Hope and I washed them out, and then we were ready to turn them into two more rain barrels to catch water for the gardens all summer. I bought the following parts for a little over $18:

  • two chimney pipe flutes
  • some wire mesh
  • a couple water spickets
  • two fittings for those spickets
  • some hose and clamps.

But, that was about three weeks ago….Despite me leaving my barrels and parts in the way at the farm that whole time, Duane helped me in his usual MacGuyver-with-a-welder kind of way.

Here’s a pictorial step-by-step:

All that’s left is to set these puppies up on some blocks and hook them to the rain spouts (including overflow hoses back into the spouts. And then let my talented wife paint them pretty…

Two steel rain barrels: $33.67 total

You can get some detailed do-it-yourself rain barrel instructions here or here. Or, if DIY is not your thing, you can buy a local, recycled rain barrell ready to hook to your downspout from my friend Jake at Sunny Day Rain Barrels.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2009 in garden, going green

 

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Always a Tree Hugger

See, I’ve always been a little weird (I prefer to say ‘in tune with the rest of nature’). This weekend Mom found these magazines I stashed in the closet as a kid. They’re dated in 1982 and 1983. I was 5 or 6 years old.

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In case you can’t read it, the magazines’ tag lines are “Dedicated to the wise use of the Earth’s resources” and “Dedicated to improving the quality of our environment.” So, not exactly the way I would describe my values today, but the roots are evident. Thanks for giving them back to me Mom–it’s fun to look through ’em, and give them to my kids.

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2008 in going green

 

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Green Extreme

This is our new refridgerator. The electric bill is pretty cheap, but it’s tough to find stuff. We’ve taken a big leap in our going green journey by unplugging our refridgerator last Friday. Tomorrow makes one full week of refilling the “ice box” once a day.

OK, so it’s not really an intentional green experiment. Jaimie discovered last friday that something was wrong when teh ice cream scooper sunk to the bottom of the wells blue bunny pail. Turns out our compressor is shot. The Sears repair man showed up Monday, and the part showed up yesterday. He’s due back tomorrow to fix things up.

The thing is, to my surprise, it hasn’t been that bad. We’re limited on what we can buy, and on how much we can save for leftovers. This means less snacking! It also means we have all the fruit and veggies out on the counter–meaning I’m eating plenty of those food groups. It hasn’t been too painful to drain the water and add some ice each morning. Our egg carton is getting pretty soggy, but that’s about the pain of it.

So–we really could survive without a refridgereator. I’m not about to try to convince my lovely wife we should go for it, but we could.  That’s all.

Can’t wait to get my electric bill and compare the difference.

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2008 in Food, going green

 

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