Saturday, April 3, 2010

around the homestead-rain barrel

We have used  rain catchment systems here on the homestead for many years. It is in fact our only water source on the property. We have no well and  are not on a municipal supply. Unfortunately the main supply of water, the cistern, is a couple hundred feet away from  most everything else on the homestead. This means either carrying buckets of water huge distances to the critters as well as the greenhouse and a majority of the gardens or running hoses all that way.

The last several years we have used a simple rain barrel placed at the end of the awning of the 5th wheel trailer to catch the rain for critter and garden use. This year however the old trailer is being dismantled which meant that we would be losing this water supply. After a bit of pondering  what we were going to do we came up with  our solution. We would simply move our harvesting station to the back side of the chicken coop and run a gutter along to catch the rain  off the coop roof.

It certainly ain't pretty but it was simple to rig up  and it will completely functional. We had most of the materials laying around the homestead and we manthing simply cut, chopped, bent and modified  the various materials in to what we he needed. If we had had one single long piece of gutter we would have eliminated 95% of the work, but we didn't. Total cost of the project was 4 bucks  for a box of screws  that we probably didn't really need.  It took  about three hours  of time to  take down the old  and put together the  new setup. Time saved  and the convenience factor  by having just a 50 gallon  barrel there  is immeasurable.  If we do happen to run the barrel dry we can still run a hose from the main cistern  to fill the tank. At the number  of critters we are at currently and  so long as we have normal or average rainfall the 50 gallons  serves us perfectly.

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