Friday, May 29, 2009

Rain barrels gonna save it all, I hope

I mentioned in my second post about our droughts here in Southern OH. They can be soo bad, like last years lasting well into the fall. I had a small veggie garden and ended up with 2 tomato plants and 3 banana pepper plants and that was it.

Our well went dry, and I just kind of gave up. It was hard enough to truck water in from the spring thats about 8 miles from us, for dishes, cooking, bathing etc. So watering a garden was just not gonna happen.

So now that the house is pretty much done and we have the time and a bit more resources,our attention has turned to the yard, greenhouse, veggie garden and small projects that seem to have piled up.

Larry was determined to set up some kind of tank or barrel system that would see us through the worst of the scorching hot days as far as watering our food beds and taking showers.

This is where we started, 16 food grade drums. all connected together with a hose outlet at the bottom and a built in rain gauge.

The barrels were 9.00 a piece and the pvc connectors were a few bucks. He also used a piece of old garden hose cut up. The downspout goes into the far barrel on the top and the water flows through filling up each barrel as it goes.
They are sitting on treated 4x4's on top of packed earth.

We will be adding 4 more down at the greenhouse on a platform so we can have pressure behind what flows in.
These 16 are uphill a bit behind our workshop. They will gravity feed nicely down to the greenhouse. Then inside the greenhouse will be our old wringer washer, a sink and a shower.

These barrels came from Keebler and had "tutti-frutti" flavoring, whatever THAT is.
All I know is the whole place reeked of juicy fruit gum smell for weeks. It wasn't bad though. In the foreground you can see a little of a blue barrel, they have these at the same place and although mt favorite color in the garden as far as flowers and some garden furniture goes is blue, these barrels I find garish. They smelt yummy when we got them, some chocolate, some lemon and some butterscotch.
I saw that one of the members on Plant Swap painted theirs beautifully with plants and butterflys.So I may breakdown and do some rain barrel painting myself.


  1. Those look awesome, I'm guessing you bought them from the factory? I wonder what other factories would sell those barrels. We were looking to buy a rain barrel, but the prices are outrageous. One barrel would cost more than your entire set-up.

    Any thoughts on what other factories would have these barrels? I'm in Illinois.

  2. Some restaurants have large barrels that had oil in them.
    I would maybe look on craigslist.

    These came from a farm/landscaping center that sells mulch, farm gates, railroad ties,cement block etc.

    They buy stuff in bulk and resell it.
    They sell the regular steel drums also.
    You could also do a search online for "food grade 55 gal. drums for sale" and then type in your state.
    I hope that helps. I would love to see everyone catching rainwater.


Dear Commentors, I am moderating comments so pesky spammers can't bother us. Your comment will show up, I promise, I just have to Okay it first.