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Finally having a bit of time to come up for some air.  This has been the spring of projects to get done and the one at the top of the list has been to get rain barrels in place.

Last Fall I had built a small porch on the garden shed, with the sole intention of catching the rain water from the roof of the porch.  The shed is right at the veggie garden, so it naturally was the perfect spot for the rain barrels.  I had read where it was not advisable to use water collected from shingled roofs on food plants, (chemicals from the shingles), so i had installed a pvc roof on the shed porch.  I figured if pvc was used for water pipes in the house, it would be ok for the rain water run off.

Had the roof ready and the spot to put the barrels, now I need to find some rain barrels.  Just so happened Knoxville was having an Earthfest a month or so ago and a company called Rain Water Solutions was going to be a sponsor and were running a special of the barrels at more than half off.  Seemed like the perfect time to get them.  They are food safe, recycled and American made.  All the parts come with them and the top even has a mosquito screen.  I could have probably got cheaper barrels second hand somewhere, but didn’t want the hassle or the time it would take to run around trying to find fittings.

The barrels were the easy part….the guttering.  ug.

The shed itself has a shingled roof, so my first job was to install guttering on that part to divert the water to a downspout and away from the barrels.  With that part done, I ran another set of gutter from the porch roof to the rain barrels themselves.  I installed a flexible downspout for this.  Main reason so I could move it away from the barrels easily for when the rain first started to let all the debris run first and then place at the barrel top for the rest of the rain water.  Also I had placed the barrels up on blocks to make it easier to access the spigots.  Seems to make it easier to keep the area cleaner also.

So far, it has worked great.  We’ve had some rain and one barrel is already full and water is now going in to the 2nd one.  Haven’t had to water the garden yet, but I’m hoping the plants will love it!