Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Here is the collection system as it sits now.
The flexible downspout hose feeds into barrel #1. There is a filter made of scavenged window screen that keeps particulate matter from getting in, and also keeps the barrels from becoming mosquito breeding grounds.
Gathering rain is serious business, we have a trained guard dog on the premises. Good dog, Elsa. KILL!
Currently, the barrels are not tied into each other, but they will eventually via a simple gravity feed.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Aside from our water collection and compost operation, we've got greens in this spring. May be a bit early, but we're going to give er a go. We've got a smaller raised bed that we are planning to stagger start more greens with, so if these don't take, we can maybe do something else in this bed later this spring. The raspberries and strawberries are coming on strong, and we've got three tomato plants in as well. We're turning into a couple of real hippies, although we prefer to think of this as a "victory garden", so you can just call us patriots, mister.
I'll get some more pics up of the water collection system when I get all of the barrels linked together, nothing complicated just a gravity feed.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
So it begins. The Powells have started farming water...okay, we're just "collecting" water. But I'm excited about the project none the less. We've got a pretty good line on free barrels and no shortage of rain. I was half assing it at the start, and filled a 55 gallon drum with out even trying. That is both awesome and terrible, because now we've got a barrel full of water I cannot even really move around. The set up you see above is before I tied the downspout right into barrel #1 via a flexible hose with a mosquito screen filter on it. Stage 3 will be connecting all the barrels, and installing a blow off valve. In retrospect, I should have started this project in the fall, and we could've gathered 8-10 barrels of water this spring already. We're trying to not use the hose to water our garden this summer (more on the garden coming soon).
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
We visited North last night in NW Portland to hear a lecture by Nelson Farris from Nike. The title of the talk was "The NIKE Story: The Coach, The Waffle Iron, & The Guy Tied for Last."
It was pretty motivating. We were also pretty impressed with the North office, pictured above,
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
After 3 years of talking about it, Jen and I finally got our shit together and became pro-active on composting. We'd been half assing a compost pile (read: rotting heap) at our last two houses, but we realized we were tossing a lot of wet garbage still, and getting none of the benefits of compost for our plants.
Jen found some pretty sweet plans on the internet after researching for couple of days. She then bought all the wood for about $2 at an estate sale, and procured the barrel from work. (She also got us a sweet rain barrel, which is our next project) It took about a month from the time we started gathering materials to when we finally got it together, but it came out about as well as we hoped. The actual build time was maybe 2 hours.
So we're going to be filling it for about 2-3 weeks, then we'll let it sit for 14 days (rotating it 3 times daily) and we're hoping to have a whole bunch of sweet compost to use in our garden planters, and give away to friends.
Everyone needs friends who will give you their decomposed garbage!
The one thing we have left to do is paint the barrel black.
Paint It Black And Let It Rot!