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Monday, March 22, 2004

Call me crazy 

My husband and I were talking the other day about how we planned to fashion our gardens now that the construction trucks were no longer running over the flowerbeds and destroying everything in sight. As we chatted, we both came to the conclusion that we really needed to start using rain barrels as an irrigation source. It had to have a hose adapter so that we could connect a soaker hose (many barrels have spigots but no adapter) and had to hold a lot of water but be unobtrusive in size and color.

While I was researching the choices, my mother called to chat. I told her what we were planning to do and she told me I was crazy. “Why go through all that work when you could just hook the hose to the waterbib and set up the sprinklers?” she asked. Well, call me crazy but water conservation makes sense. Our reasons to commit to this are many. First, our water resources are not as plentiful as we perceive they are. Roughly 97% of the world's water is salty or otherwise undrinkable leaving a small percentage for human needs including agricultural, residential, manufacturing, community, and personal needs. Many factors affect our water from population growth to drought conditions. Second, our house has a lot of run off when it rains. The water winds up standing in the areas where we need to walk to access the backyard and eventually seeps into the storm drain. Third, here in Florida we are restricted to the day and time we are allowed to water, which wreaks havoc with new plantings or more needy ones. Also, if we exceed the amount of water our water company thinks we should be using on average, we are charged a high water usage fee. So why not harness nature’s gift by using a rain barrel?

Anyway, I did a lot of research and came up with the perfect solution from Yardiac (you can access their site using the icon on the right). The Spruce Creek Rain Saver is dark green so it doesn’t stick out like a sore green thumb against the house. It holds 54 gallons of water and has an overflow on the back so we don’t have to check it if there is a hard rain. It has two access areas so we can have the spigot hook up as well as the garden hose connected. It comes with a 5-year guarantee and it’s just in our price range - $139.

So, the moral of the story is this. Call me crazy, Mom, but just wait until you see my beautiful gardens this year. You’ll be green with envy! Happy Gardening.

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Thanks to Andrew Stenning who contributed the photograph for our masthead

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