Saturday, March 28, 2009

Barrels and Drawings

Yesterday was compost day and today was rain barrel day. I finally got the two remaining rain barrels water tight and attached to the gutters. I also completed one barrell to deliver to a work friend of mine. We are now rolling with 4 working rain barrels and 230 gallons of water. I still have one more barrel to work up to complete my barrel collection. On my downspouts I use a device called a water saver (clean air gardening $30). It diverts the water from the downspout to the barrel through a rubber hose. When the barrel is full, the backpressure in the hose sends the water back down the downspout. It is about an hour job for each downspout requiring some hacksawing and tin snipping, but for the most part is pretty easy. The extra work is worth it because the water saver automatically shuts off the water flow to the barrel when it is full. That little device saves me the pain of hooking up some silly looking overflow devices on each barrel and cursing an swearing every time I trip over them or they leak. The water saver is about $30. I'd recommend it.

That double stacked barrel in one of the photos is a new experiment for us this year. These barrels are closest to our main garden, so it saves us a long walk with the watering can. It puts almost 100 gallons right where we need it. There is also the hope that the additional height provided by the top barrel will give me enough pressure to water with a hose. We'll see if it works. I tested the water-sharing mechanism today and it worked fine. The bottom spigot on the top barrel is connected to a top spigot on the bottom barrel by a laundry hose. Both these spigots are continually left open. The water enters the top barrel from the downspout. When it reaches the height of the spigot, it drains into the bottom barrel. When the water in the bottom barrel reaches the height of it's top spigot, the water has no where to go, so it doesn't drain down and fills the top barrel. Pretty neat little system. I don't think I invented it - I'm sure I read about it on-line somewhere.

The other photo here is Sarah's drawing of our back yard. She is teaching herself to do landscape art drawings. They are very helpful to our planning and also quite pretty. I have always liked architectural drawings and pencil sketches as art. These drawings have a little of both.

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