Rainwater Catchment System

Our area of Texas is in it’s third year of a bad drought. One of our ponds is nearly dry, and the other two are noticeably smaller than they were when we first saw them. It’s not pretty. We try to conserve as much water as possible. One of the first homestead projects that we’ve done is set up a rainwater catchment system.

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We were lucky, our barn already had gutters set up. All we had to add was a large bendable pipe (we used sewage pipe) that we picked up at Home Depot. It ended up using $6 worth of pipe and another $3 worth of connectors.

Our local Farm Supply company sells 275 gallon totes for $180 + tax. I hate buying things for full price, so we started checking craigslist daily, hoping we could find a great deal.

About two weeks ago, we were driving into town and saw a house that had two 275 gallon water totes sitting outside with a phone number on them. We called, and ended up buying both of these totes for $50 each. We cleaned them and sterilized them very well, just to be safe. We put them on pallets, so when we use the water, gravity will create water pressure for us.

Eventually, we will connect the two totes, so we don’t have to go out and manually move the pipe from one to the other in the rain. But, for now – it’s a blessing to be able to use rain water to water the garden. The plants love it.

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P.S. Please ignore the weeds and grass in the garden.

P.P.S. We ended up spending $110 on this project. After we fill up both totes 14 times, we will have recouped our investment. This number only accounts for the cash cost of water in our area, not the cost of taxes, meter fees, and the environmental cost of using city water when we could be using rain water. This was definitely a project that was worth doing.

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Lazy Day

Today is a lazy day. We don’t get many lazy days around here, so I’m taking advantage of it. I’ve been packing, cleaning, and listening to this free permaculture design pod class.

I’ve listened to half of the “lessons” so far. There are some great ideas in it. There are some things that I don’t agree with, but even the things I don’t agree with are still thought provoking. If you are interested in permaculture, it’s worth a listen.

I got some yummies from the garden yesterday. Look at all this loot!  I harvested all of this around 2pm and it was all gone before we went to bed. Carrots from the backyard are so much better than carrots from the store. They taste carroty and delicious. (No one asked for ranch dressing to dip them in!)

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Not wanting anything to go to waste, we shared the carrot greens with the rabbits and the compost worms. These are the babies that were born on April 14th. I think we have 4 girls and 2 boys this time, but I’ll double check them sometime this week to be sure. (The seventh one died a week after birth. The mom stepped on his head when he was born and he never recovered.)

When rabbits are very young, I sex them by looking at how far apart their “parts” are from their anus. Girl parts are right next to the anus, and boy parts are a fraction of a tiny bit further away. When they get older, you can press on the area outside of the vent, and the sex becomes very obvious –  it looks like boys have straws and girls have oval slits.

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We signed, sealed, and delivered our third offer on property today. The first two properties we liked didn’t pan out; so I’m not going to get excited about this one yet. I am hopeful though. This is in the town and school district I want, it has the acreage DH wants, it’s peaceful, it has great soil, and it’s got a price tag we can afford. If everything works out, this could be my backyard in a few months.

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We should find out more within the next few days. Until then, I’m going to avoid thinking about it and try to make the most of the last lazy day we will have in this house.