Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Rain barrels

I was actually just out meandering in my normal blog reads. And like always I come away with such useful information. You know how it is. You get to reading one and then they link to somewhere and then you follow and then..well you had better had your initial one bookmarked because before you know it you cant seem to find your way back home.

Rain Barrels. My husband and I have talked of them. The idea of them. The conservation of them. Being green and frugal. They almost just fit in like we should have always had them. Never once in my mind did it ever occur to me that I couldnt use the water I collected to water my veggies. Now, I dont know that I would drink it, but my thinking on that was not really that thought through either, I guess. I just didnt want the extra protein from all the bugs and stuff....and who knew how long it had been sitting there.

So, when I was reading one of my fave blogs this morning she led me to another blog of my liking and she had written a blurb on rain barrels. I commented and she replied and led me to this great blog.

Did you check it out? Their water system? Isnt it just amazing. Now, I dont know that I need all that. But just imagine what you could do with all that water. How much your veggies and fruit trees would just love you to pieces. Because for some reason they just love that rain water over the hose water.

I will do all the research and then, of course, come to my own conclusion on how to handle the rain barrel issue. What about you? Do you have an opinion? Would you water your veggies with rain barrel water? Or do you think it is too risky?


boogiemum said...

I use my rain barrels to water all my plants, including veggies. We are constantly on water restrictions (once a week on a special day) here in FL and without my barrels, my plants wouldn't survive.

I took a special course in rain barrels and from what I can tell it is completely safe. I don't have bugs in my barrels, as I have a very tight small screen. I also add olive oil to my barrels to naturally repel the bugs and mosquito eggs.

Gnightgirl said...

You could knock me over with a feather right now: You're going to use used water? I thought you were terrified of used water.

The rainbarrels sound cool, though catching it right out the sky seems more palatable then the gutter rain.

frugalmom said...

Gnightgirl: I never said I was actually going to touch the water. I will make the kids do it! Or better yet, I will be the one in the chemical warfare suit out in my garden....hood and all using bucket after bucket of used water.

Anonymous said...

We use rainbarrels too. I have an old shingled roof so I'm not really worried about leaching chemicals. When the time comes for it to be replaced, hopefully we can afford a greener option. If not, our barn has a metal roof and we'd probably use that. I did a post on it back in April '07 if you want to see them. They're old pickle barrels my husband managed to acquire. I'm fairly new to Future House blog myself, and man what a system!! Can you imagine renting a place where you're not allowed to use the hose?! Sheesh!

Christy said...

I've used rain water from my rain barrel to water my veggies for 2 years. I have a screen over my water barrel that keeps all the junk out. I know there is worry about using water that came off asphalt roofs but I figure a lot of the water has been on asphalt roofs so even if we get it out of the tap the same worries exist.

Aquabarrel said...

You might want to look at the rain barrels offered by

Meg said...

Hi! I've been noticing some people trickling into our blog from yours over the past few days so I thought I should come take a look--and, wow! What a nice writeup of our rain harvester! I love how you can float through blogland and find all sorts of stuff; a good portion of your blog list is also on my blog list, so it's funny we haven't run into each other before.

Anyway, we had some of the same concerns about using runoff water, but all the reading we did indicated that a roof as old as ours wouldn't pose any sort of a threat to our garden. We used our collected rainwater all last summer with no ill effects on our plants. Well, no ill effects that couldn't be traced back to some sort of nasty bug or critter chomping the darn things, but I don't think that had anything to do with the water... However, chemicals and such certainly can come off your roof and into your water, but I'm not sure how weathered the roof must be before that's a concern. the folks at installed a metal roof maybe a year ago, and did extensive research to find one that was both eco-friendly in its construction, and safe for water collection. So they're out there!

Boogiemum, who commented that she uses olive oil in her rain barrels to keep bugs out, is probably onto something! Our barrels are old olive oil drums and we've had no problems at all with bugs getting in--I guess the olive oil residue that we weren't able to rinse out is enough to deter them.

The point you brought up about plants liking rain water over hose water is so interesting. You are not the first person who's mentioned that, and I've noticed it too. I wonder what's in the rain that they like?

And, in defense of my landlord (I'm defending my landlord? I need to go to bed.) our well is not very deep and with four apartments and six people in the house, the concern is that we could easily dry it up in the summer if we were all drinking/bathing/watering plants. So we weren't too put out by that restriction, especially since he provides free chicken babysitting and lets us dig up the yard.

I've practically added a whole 'nother post onto your post, which was not my intent. So, I'll end it here and say thanks again for the link. It's very cool to see other people thinking about conservation.

frugalmom said...

farm mom: I will have to take a look at that particular post of yours. You always give me so much to think about.

boogiemum: I never would have thought to use the olive oil. How much do you use?

Christy: I had figured I would have to have some kind of screen on there, but the olive oil idea was news to me.

Meg: Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you were able to browse a little. I try really hard to conserve as much as I can. Be as green ans I can. My kids will be here long past me and I like to think that I am doing my part as best I can. My thinking on the rainwater is that maybe the hose water has too much chlorine in it. Or enuf to make it less desirable.

I hope you stop by again!