We had an inch of rain on Sunday in our Zone 5b garden. And just in time to capture that rain in our new water totes.
Our two totes sit on the east side of our pole barn taking advantage of the rain water that runs off of our metal pole barn roof.
We began the process of making the area ready for two more water totes this weekend. This means raking out oak leaves (they went onto the vegetable garden paths), old wood chunks (they went onto the fire) and soil had to be dug out and roots chopped up. As a permaculture homestead we try hard to have nothing go to waste or end up in the landfill.
The leaves have been removed and the soil has been shoveled out.
You may remember reading about our totes system before. You can find that post here.
Our two water totes have been filling up 2 and ¾ times the past two summers. We have been very happy with how they have performed and have decided to add two more totes to our collection. We have the perfect set-up here on the Small House Homestead; a large pole barn with a metal roof and ample spring and fall rains.
Gene is measuring the length of the gutter needed. Sassy is his assistant.
Not only does this mean no water is wasted by simply pouring off the pole barn roof and going into the ground, we save electricity and wear and tear on the water pump every time we water using the water from these totes. We raised them several feet off the ground using a roadside rescue wooden beams that we found with a “free” sign on them. Using gravity feed and a simple rubber garden hose we get enough water to trickle out of the totes, go through the hose and onto our shrubs, trees or plants to soak them at the drip line. It’s a low energy use process; I just set a kitchen timer and move the hose from time to time.
Our Lab Sassy enjoys a beef bone while keeping Gene company.
According to an article “12 Tips for a Water Wise Garden” in the Fall 2015 Issue of Herb Quarterly, shares that a 1,000 sq. ft. roof will yield a whopping 625 gallons of water from one inch of rain.
I picked up cement blocks at Menard’s for the totes raised base.
Water is a critical element on your homestead and in your garden. Our set-up costs us less than $200.00 upfront. This is a easy way to save money on your electric bill and in some communities on your water bill as well. My son who lives in Portland, Oregon pays almost $60.00 a month on his water bill! Outrageous!
Low tech, ecological, conservation of water and easy to accomplish with some planning and forethought!
Small House Homesteader, Donna