Tag Archives: rain water collection

Early Trial Run

I got this barrel installed just in time yesterday for a series of downpours. It worked beuatifully! Filled up in less than a half hour.

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Posted by on May 26, 2009 in etc., garden, going green


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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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Rain Barrel at Work

Installed this puppy last night, just to keep it from raining all week…


I hacked into my rain spout, in a very amateurish way, and then directed the overflow tube from the barrel back into the spout. I hope it works. The broken slate tile on the top is not part of the set up, just was using it to keep the screen cover from blowing away while I was working on it.

I have the parts, and plan on tackling the two DIY barrels this weekend. Bring on the wire feed welder!

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Posted by on May 7, 2009 in going green


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Solar Food and Barrels of Rain

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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