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

Heavy-duty rain gauge

Leveling a rain gauge

I love collecting weather data --- not only is it good, geeky fun, the endeavor also helps me decide whether the garden needs to be watered and it helps me keep track of our specific frost-free period.  Unfortunately, weather-tracking kept falling by the wayside when the tools of the trade turned out to be shoddy and quickly bit the dust.

Heavy-duty rain gaugeA couple of years ago, I solved the temperature-tracking dilemma by going completely analog, and now I'm hoping I've found the rain gauge that will survive winter freezes.  The inner cylinder measures up to one inch of rain, then the outer container gives you an extra ten inches of wiggle room.  In the winter,  you remove the inner cylinder, bring the frozen precipitation indoors to thaw, and then pour it into the measurer.

My weather guru sent our new rain gauge along in exchange for using our farm as a weather station --- he's tracking the way a nearby mountain impacts microclimates in our region.  He's had to replace two rain gauges (not sure out of how many -- quite a few) over the last seven years due to freezing, but that's much better than my previous rate of losing a rain gauge every year.

Now, to see if I can remember to thank him by keeping track of which days begin with fog....

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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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