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Shout Down My Rain Barrel…

25 May

The last few days the sky has gushed and our soil has taken deep, deep, swigs of precious rainfall.  Our area had been in drought for nearly nine months and wildfires were becoming a scary reality in the northland, but finally the clouds burst and our collective thirst was quenched.

It was fun to watch the land turn green and lush before our eyes while the rivers swelled and tickled the toes of the trees that bask along their banks.  And it was also fun to listen the rain tap the rooftops and race down the gutters into my…rain barrels!

As Caitlyn has shared, the past weeks have been full of glorious projects, and on top of building and planting a garden, we’ve spent time constructing a rain barrel system so that we can nourish our garden with the rain that rolls from the rooftop.

One of the few downsides to our new home is the cost of being on the city water system, which contributes to quite an expensive utility bill (if you haven’t noticed, Cait and I are admittedly thrifty). Plus, it seems silly to run up a bill watering a garden when there’s a river that flows through the backyard and much of the rain that falls around the house simply runs off the hillside and into the river.  So, in an effort to harness the natural watering power of God’s green earth, I hooked up a few barrels to our downspouts…and oh how we’ve been blessed.

I don’t think we realized how much water is actually diverted from rooftops into gutters and drains.  The night I finished my rain barrels it rained a moderate amount (less than an inch), but both barrels were full and overflowing after only a few hours of rainfall.  We had caught an excess of 110 gallons in our first rain showers – how astounding!

This past weekend it rained about 3 inches in our area and we had to drain water out of our barrels so the ground wouldn’t simply turn to mush beneath the barrels as the rain overflowed the sides.

Then I upgraded.

300 gallons, and the two smaller 55 gallon barrels filling from the back of the house.  We love it, and we hope that amidst those dry spells in July and August, we will have ample aqua to keep our garden gushing.