Back to work

Today was the last day of vacation. It is just as well, I need some time in the office to recover from gardening, and it looks like we’ll be receiving some badly needed rain over the next few days. We were so lucky to have had a spectacular week for vacation –I enjoyed every second even though it was hard labor. What a great feeling to spend 8+ hours a day outside working in the garden. I am asleep the minute my head hits the pillow, but awaken the next morning raring to go again. Aspirin helps, of course. I buy it by the case.

Today, in preparation for the predicted rain, we set up 2 of our 4 rain barrels. This year, we added barrel taps to 2 of them; now we can connect a hose to the tap and draw directly from the rain barrel. Prior to this, we had been using the dip method to fill the watering can — this will be much easier.

The taps are solid brass and should last a long time provided they are drained before a freeze. Poor Dan had to crawl into the barrel to install them, but it wasn’t too odious. We will set the blue barrel back by the vegetable garden, and use the white barrel by the barn to water the new lilac hedge and the perennial beds. The barrels are slightly raised to add to the pressure for this gravity fed system.

If all goes well, I’d like to explore the idea of a gravity fed drip irrigation system for the vegetable garden, especially the raised beds. I am also keen to see how this works as in a few years, we will be gutting and renovating the full bath, and will need an alternate shower system for the duration. If this works well, we might just use the barrel concept to set up a solar heated shower system

I also finished planting the lettuce seedlings this morning; I now have 6 cabbage seedlings to plant and I am done with the cool weather crops. This week I will sprout the potatoes in hopes of planting them next weekend.

While I was working in the vegetable garden, Dan finished the last bit of raking and we made another trip to the town compost area. We will have one more trip no doubt, but we are approaching the end of the spring garden clean-up. The yard is looking good.


6 Responses to “Back to work”

  1. Kelly (fhf) Says:

    You guys are awesome. Your rain harvester has got me all emotional. We’re all about smart water collection. We too may get into drip irrigation. Speaking of which, if you haven’t already intended to do so, collect used and beat up hoses (free) and poke holes in them. Those store bought soakers can flatten a wallet in no time. Have fun and I can’t wait to see your barrels in action. Cheers.

  2. margo72 Says:

    The rainbarrels look promising, but I have to admit I laughed out loud at that shot of poor Dan inside the barrel – I thought some horrible mishap had occurred!! Glad to hear everything’s alright.

    Rain barrels sound like a great idea, but I’ll be happy to learn / read more about your experiences with them. As to the shower options, I trust you know about sunshowers, then? If not, peruse this camping supply store – I got my own sunshower years ago for around $10; they’re cheap and functional.

  3. Twinville2 Says:

    Great idea…and like Margo said, I was thinking that Dan was stuck or something, like my goat or cat does when trying to sneak into the feed bucket or can for the last tidbits! hehe

    I can’t eait to see how the barrels work out for you.
    Here in NM, many people use them because rain is so rare
    and precious.
    And when it does finally rain the ground is so hard and the water so fast that run-off is inevitable. So rain barrels are a great idea!

  4. Robin Says:

    We have a barrel on the roof of our cabin. We have to pump water up to it from a small stream. During the summer months we have to be in the shower by 10 am. The water gets too hot after that. We have a neighbor who have an outdoor shower. She’s built a stall and platform of 2 x 4’s. The tank sits off to the side so that if something happened to make it fall, it won’t fall straight down on her. It’s her only shower until she has a bathroom added to her 1800’s farm house.

  5. sjones71 Says:

    I’m watching all of this rain (finally) pummel us here in Connecticut and wondering why I don’t have a rain barrel. Such a simple, good idea.

    And Kelly from futurehousefarm, another great idea! I’ve got the start of a soaker system for my garden and just need to get the feeder hose buried and attached and then run the soakers. I could at least do a couple of my beds with old hoses as opposed to new soaker hoses. Thanks!

  6. Ali Says:

    Kelly, thanks for the hose idea. I suspect we have several that we would be relieved to find a new purpose for here at Henbogle.

    Robin, that news about the rain barrel shower made my day. I know about the solar showers (thanks Margo!) BUT was hoping the barrel would work and provide longer showers than the solar showers do. Sometimes a gardener needs some hot water muscle un-kinking.

    Robin, do you have to treat the water in the barrels with anything?

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