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MadMom's picture

Went today on an Urban Farming tour sponsored by Sustainable Sandhills, which is a local group pushing urban farming and "green" living.  I ended up buying a rain barrel, which is a beautiful thing.  I'm going to put it on the patio so I can use the water for my plants and my Earthboxes.  Might as well use rain water.  I'm not quite ready for the worm composting, though.  I can just see DH if I put a big herd of worms under the sink, LOL.  Small steps, right?  Bought some more asparagus root crowns.  I figure that if it takes another year to even attempt to harvest them, I should have more.  DH says I tend to go overboard.  I think he's got a point, but who cares?



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!


Edited 4/11/2009 9:34 pm ET by MadMom

msm-s's picture

I figure "more" translates into insurance that if one dies, you still have a chance :-)

MadMom's picture

I have 16 crown roots now, instead of 8.  The instructions from the internet say that you should have 10 per person, which I thought was a bit much.  We'll see.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Risottogirl's picture

SO just FREAKS every time I mention getting a wormbox.

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

msm-s's picture

please explain- they have to be indoors?

MadMom's picture

The lady selling them at the Urban Farming demo said that the best place for them was under the kitchen sink.  No way, Jose.  I may end up getting a composter thingy, but no way I'm having worms in the house, especially if the population doubles every few months or whatever.  I know, they are wonderful for eating the bad stuff and making good stuff and all that, but they're just not going to live in my house.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

courgette's picture

And rightly so.


Mo

Heather's picture

We are thinking about getting some rain barrels. What did they say about storing water? Do you have to worry about bacteria in the barrels if you store for a while?

MadMom's picture

Heaven only knows!  I figure that with one, I should certainly end up with enough that I will use it up in my "garden."  My dad had a rain barrel before he passed away, and they used it to water the lawn, never had a problem with bacteria in the water.  This one is much more sophisticated, seems to have a filter on top, and an overflow, all the good stuff. 



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

TracyK's picture

I work for local government and we have a very active environmental dept... here is all their info on rain barrels: http://www.arlingtonva.us/Departments/EnvironmentalServices/epo/EnvironmentalServicesEpoRainBarrel.aspx


"I really do not know that anything has ever been more exciting than diagramming sentences."
                                                            --Gertrude Stein

Heather's picture

Thank you!

BonnieinHolland's picture

you just don't want to use rainwater to water seedlings starting in pots.  It can cause 'damping off', a fungal disease that causes the little seedlings to fall over and die.  Just plain water out of the tap is best.  cheers, Bonnie

Heather's picture

I wasn't planning to use rainwater for my seedlings. I'm very protective of them. ;-)

We get no rain here from May through the end of September and I'm just wondering if we can store water from the winter and use it in the summer. It's probably not a practical idea, we'd need a big cistern.

roz's picture

Could you get multiple barrels and put one at each corner of the house? Do you have access to those blue plastic barrels with a lid and a screw top small opening? Hang a chain from the eave to reach inside the barrel. The water travels down the chain. The water doesn't evaporate as quickly and most creepy crawly things stay out.

Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Do your best. Don Miguel Ruiz
Heather's picture

I haven't seen plastic barrels like that, but we are just beginning to investigate this. It sounds like a wonderful idea, but the logistics are complicated. After you collect the water, you need to have a way to disperse it around the property. And we could only store a tiny fraction of what we need.

Canuck's picture

Don't you just hook up a hose to the spigot? I know you can connect several rain barrels, so that the first "overflows" into the second etc.

Heather's picture

Our vegetable garden is a long way from our house and our property is flat. You'd have to have some pressure in the hose to get the water to travel that far.

Canuck's picture

Ah, yes, that could be tricky. Would putting the rain barrel on a platform help?

Heather's picture

Putting it on the roof would help, but I don't think we're going to do that. ;-)

Canuck's picture

LOL. :)

roz's picture

How about a sump pump?

Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Do your best. Don Miguel Ruiz
Heather's picture

Yes, there are pumps you can put in the holding tanks.

I wish we could reengineer the plumbing in our house and use all that water we waste waiting for the shower to heat up etc. When I was little, my Dad rigged a system that saved the rinse water from the laundry. It was a pain, you had to listen for the first wash water to drain and then run out and switch the drain hose over to the one that went into the cistern. I thought he was nuts--little did I know he was way ahead of his time with a gray water system for his vegetables.

roz's picture

"Free" rain water is starting to cost some $$s about now.

Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Do your best. Don Miguel Ruiz
Heather's picture

LOL! Ain't nothing free, as an old friend used to tell us.
This whole rainwater thing only makes sense if we have severe water restrictions in the summer, and maybe not even then.

MadMom's picture

We have a well, so don't pay anything for the water, anyway, except the power used to run the pump.  Still, I am concerned about damage to the aquifer from people using too much water.  The cost of the rain barrel and associated hose (I had several, but decided I wanted one which coiled up and was out of the way) is about 20% of what we spent for one month's water in Texas, so it didn't seem out of line to me. 



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

roz's picture

My comment about the cost of 'free' water was tongue in cheek! ITA about conserving water, especially in areas where drought or near drought is imminent. Living in arid environments requires a different mind set after having lived in NM and AZ.

I'm also for 'the revenge of the lawn'! I would eliminate my lawn if I could, but I have limited energy to dig, plant and weed!

Didn't a CTer, somewhere in CA plant veggies in their front lawn? Maybe you remember who it was?

Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Do your best. Don Miguel Ruiz
MadMom's picture

Don't remember who that was, but hooray for them!  I've read about the astronomical amount of money, seed, water, fertilizer, weed killer, etc. that we Americans spend just keeping our lawns green, and it makes me crazy.  We have grass for maybe 20' around the house on all sides, and the rest of the property is covered with trees, flowers, etc.


BTW, it is beautiful now that the azaleas are blooming, dogwoods are gorgeous, hardwoods are budding.  I love spring here.




Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!
Heather's picture

I took out my front lawn, but I replaced it with California and Australian natives, and other Mediterranean plants that need little water once they are established. We put in a watering system with a small emitter for each plant so no water is wasted. It is way more interesting than the lawn!

Vegetables in the front are a great idea, but we already have a very large kitchen garden in the back that produces way more than we can eat and give away. I'm amazed how hard it is to give away produce around here.

TracyK's picture

A basic rain barrel can often be acquired for free as well, and shouldn't require much to install.


And water conservation is always a good idea, whether one's region has water shortages or not.



"I really do not know that anything has ever been more exciting than diagramming sentences."
                                                            --Gertrude Stein

roz's picture

ITA. When we lived in NH we had only a 14 ft. hand dug well. Just enough water for our kitchen pitcher pump. No extra water for the garden. I would often go to the pond across the road and bring buckets of water to the garden for those tender lettuce shoots and then mulch, mulch, mulch the plants. Mulch is another water saver.

Now, I have far too much water! It's a good thing my garden is slightly sloped so that the rain can drain away.

Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Do your best. Don Miguel Ruiz
MadMom's picture

That sounds sort of crazy, since if you plant the seeds in rows in the garden, won't they be watered by the rain?  I normally grow seedlings before I plant them, but thought I would spread the remainder of the green bean and pea seeds in the new garden area.  Maybe I should let them sprout first?



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!