Sunday, September 26, 2010

Conserve water, save money


County Agent Stephanie Pendleton explains simple steps for crafting a rain barrel.
Since husband Walter has been experimenting with collecting rain water for watering our vegetable garden, we hopped on an opportunity recently to attend a program about backyard composting and rain barrels for the garden.

About a dozen of us gathered at a nearby library to hear what the Cooperative Extension Service’s agent for our county had to say. It was interesting to me that the assembled group crossed lines of gender, race and city of residence.  What we all had in common was an interest in the topics of the evening and the fact that, except for the county agent, we were all probably above 50 years old.

The county agent covered the basics. Her own experiences—and misadventures--were especially helpful and entertaining. She even clued us in on exactly where we could find some of the simple but hard-to-find components she had used in making her rain barrel.

A lively discussion followed, punctuated with laughter and shared experiences and ideas. Walter and I left with useful tips that will solve some inconveniences we had already experienced with our rain barrels, answers to something that had puzzled me about my backyard composting and a great feeling of having connected with others interested in conserving resources and spending less.

4 comments:

Sandra said...

we have a rain barrel and it attracts mosquitos. did they say how to stop that? other than a lid?
we also save the water we use for washing tennis balls after dog gammes, by holding over a 5 gallon bucket and using on plants and trees. we found we use 5 gallons every other day. had no idea it was that much water to wash the balls. thanks for sharing

LC said...

@Sandra-The barrels have a rim with a solid insert beneath, similar to canning lids. You just unscrew the rim, take the insert out. Use fiberglass screen--not aluminum, put a square over the top big enough for edges to hang well over the edge, and screw the rim on tight.

We had mosquito problems too because I would undo all that to dip water out. Now we know how easy it is to install a spigot! Problem solved (we haven't actually done that yet, but it is on our list).

LC said...

@Sandra-The barrels have a rim with a solid insert beneath, similar to canning lids. You just unscrew the rim, take the insert out. Use fiberglass screen--not aluminum, put a square over the top big enough for edges to hang well over the edge, and screw the rim on tight.

We had mosquito problems too because I would undo all that to dip water out. Now we know how easy it is to install a spigot! Problem solved (we haven't actually done that yet, but it is on our list).

June Calender said...

A great rain barrel -- I don't live where a rain barrel cold be used but I remember one at my grandmother's house eons ago -- it was a simple oak barrel, no paint, sat under an eaves trough. I'm not sure what she used the water for, I doubt that particular house had running water but it did have a well. Hadn't thought of that for ages. Glad you reminded me.

Also, thanks for commenting on my "where elders blog" photo.