Monday, March 29, 2010

Let it rain, let it pour, let it...

get collected somehow?!
We used to have a rain barrell - one that even looked like a barrell, and had the tap on the bottom and the mesh on the top (to keep debris and mosquitos and drowning little boys out.)
But because it was cheaper (plastic $60) it cracked. Cracked beyond repair, or reuse for anything else. Luckily it was able to be recycled... but now we are left with no way to collect the springs rain.
So now I am scratching my head trying to figure out, in light of the challenge to not buy anything new, and that we plan on turning our flower beds into food forests, how to collect our rain water in a safe, effective manner with some curb appeal.
It is a legitimate concern I have to keep my boys out of it - they are 8,4 and 2... and the other day we found them on the neighbours roof!!! (fyi - we are apparently raising monkeys over here, so that makes 'baby-proofing' more complicated!) If you live in Canada, you also know that mosquitos are our national bird (!) and are a force to be reckoned with, so we need to reduce the amount of standing water around the yard. (hence the mesh being a necessary component of the rain barrell.)
I don't have the answers yet, so if you do, please share!


  1. What we used was an old blue molasses barrell with the gutter aimed at the top (there is a hole about 6 inches that the gutter can fit into. Then we added a hole in the bottom which we added a tap and some sealant around. You can get a mollasses barrel at a farm store. The spigot could be bought at a habitat for humanity restore, if there is one in your area, or maybe ask on kijiji or freecycle?
    Also if you ask on kijiji or freecycle, someone may have a rainbarrel that they don't want
    I am loving reading your blog!!

  2. Great ideas Julie!
    We do have an old fashioned barrell in the back yard that maybe could be retrofitted to work as a rain barrell... but I haven't broken the news to my husband yet! haha It is pretty old though, so I don't know if it would even hold water. But I do need to start prowling around on kijiji and freecycle -it rained yesterday and I can't stand to waste that water!!

  3. We bought used pickle barrels. We found them locally through a thrift store. The thrift store washes them out and uses them as shipping containers for clothing, etc to send over seas to needy countries.
    They have a screw on lid that the center pops out. So we just put some screening over it and screwed the lid down and put a spigot on it. We've been using the same ones for 7 or 8 years now.