The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Rain barrel workshop

Anna loading rain barrel into our Toyota backseat

What's it take to coax Anna into a trip to the big city?

A rain barrel workshop did it today. Complete with free rain barrel. fit into the backseat with room to spare.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I love , I never thought of the plastic colander for the strainer Cool beans roseanell

Comment by Rose Hamilton Sat May 31 17:19:14 2014

Hi Anna and Mark! We just installed our first (five) rain barrels at our off-grid dry cabin a few weekends ago, and the Hubby built some awesome platforms for them. They elevate the platforms to give better water pressure, and feature a step-up system to allow us to clean out the filter and check the barrels for water level and cleanliness. I painted them to make them pretty and a bit better able to weather the weather. Get it?? Ha!

Like you, we don't usually lack for rainfall just over the WV border with VA, but it feels good to be able to use rainwater to irrigate the gardens during those dry spells of the year.

Check out the photos of our rain barrel platform system on our Homestead Projects board on Pintrest:

Comment by Karen Sun Jun 1 10:18:48 2014
Karen --- Thanks for sharing! That's a very nice-looking platform.
Comment by anna Sun Jun 1 11:11:40 2014

i also love the colander idea! do you think it will work against mosquitos or do you worry on this?
ive just found your blog - very wonderful life you have created!!! im still working on my dream!

Comment by paula Sun Jun 1 11:19:44 2014
Rose Nell and Paula --- The colander is just to keep leaves and other debris from going in the rain barrel. I'm considering adding a layer of screen underneath, or perhaps we'll follow the advice of the workshop leaders, who pour some vegetable oil on top of the water to keep mosquitoes from laying their eggs inside.
Comment by anna Sun Jun 1 12:36:47 2014

Maybe this device would come in handy? It aerates the water to make it hard for mosquitoes to lay eggs on the surface, and it makes waves to drown larvae.

Adding a layer of very fine mesh below the colander seems like a good idea in any case. Even if just to keep finer debris out But you'd probably have to clean it pretty often.

Another trick that works well is to cover the water surface with polystyrene beads.

Comment by Roland_Smith Sun Jun 1 20:09:48 2014
Over the week end my boys picked out three "feeder" gold fish at the local bait shop. The rain barrel is their new home. Hopefully they will control the mosquito population. And of course their waste is beneficial to the garden. At less than a dollar each, this is a very cheap and fun science experiment for my kids.
Comment by Eva Mon Jun 2 11:26:51 2014

Read some interesting things I didn't know, like the goldfish, the stryofoam beads or oil to combat mosquitoes. We don't really have many mosquitoes up here. I prefer to use the bung plugs for my outlet. A couple of short pieces of PVC and some fittings, and after drilling out the bung plug, it screws right in. That way there is no risk of leaking out of the side of the barrel. Mosquitoes tablets are popular with some folks.
I've set these up for others and hope to finally get a few set up at my own house this summer.

Comment by Richard Tidyman Thu Jun 5 14:58:31 2014

profile counter myspace

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