Last week we held our second rain barrel workshop at Pine Mountain. The first rain barrel workshop was held in the fall of 2012, at that time we only had the supplies to provide 10 participants with rain barrels, but the demand was so great that we promised to schedule another workshop as soon as we could. This second workshop was originally scheduled for early spring so that we could take advantage of spring rains, however when the day came, we had snow on the ground, so we rescheduled for several weeks later. Several weeks later we got a call that our donated barrels had been used for target practice and would no longer hold water, so we postponed again. Now that June is here and all of our gardens have been plowed we were finally able to get back to our long awaited rain barrel workshop. After several more snafus in acquiring the barrels we finally got everything we needed, with little time to spare, and were able to get some more built.
Because many of our participants have gardens that are not located right next to their houses or are only accessible by foot, we wanted to provide rain barrels that could be placed directly at the garden site, rather than at the house. Most standard rain barrels are constructed with a small hole at the top that is meant to catch water coming directly from a rain spout, however because our rain barrels would not be attached to any gutters we wanted to devise a way to collect more rain water than would be possible with one small hole. After doing some research we came across RainSaucers, which are a large funnel-like contraption that is attached to the top of barrel and is designed to maximize the amount of rainwater collected during each rainfall. The size saucer we ordered is designed to collect 6.75 gallons of water per inch of rain.
Participants that took part in the workshop last year have been reporting that their RainSaucers are working well and filling with water from the weekly rains we’ve been having. We have not heard reports of any being blown over by the wind as of yet, which was one of our main worries. As we send this second batch of participants out to set their barrels up in their gardens we are anxiously awaiting their reviews, and hoping that if the time comes when water is sparse this season that we will be better prepared to make it through!
Here is the company that we bought our RainSaucers from: