A casual look at gardening in the north suburbs of Chicago and a look at our local CSA and Farmers' Market.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
One Wet Week and a Short Case for Rain Barrels
In the past week we have received approximately 3.5 inches in the Grayslake area. Rain of course is good, but getting all your rain at once can be a bit ironic for any gardener. We would all like to have our rain spaced out evenly over the course of the spring and into the summer. However it never seems to end up like that. Therefore with all of the rain that we have received over the past week the majority of that water found its way not into the ground but into the sewer system.
Now how much is exactly 3.5 inches? Well if you look into our overflowing rivers you would know it is quite a bit. But lets take just the rain that fell on the roof of my house. Given one side of the house's roof that has a length of 40 feet and a width of 20 feet. I can calculate the volume of water that fell over the course of the past week to be 403,200 cubic inches which converts to about 1,750 gallons of water. This of course is just on my roof and if we consider the other house in the cul de sac well we are looking at well over 10,000 gallons of water falling just on the roofs of the houses. It is due to this that we put two rain barrels out to collect some of this water. The rain barrels themselves can only hold approximately 150 gallons of water. But during the dry portion of the year this water comes in handy and allows us to water the gardens without fear of any drought restrictions and with the knowledge that what we are doing is good for the environment. Help conserve our precious water resources and get a rain barrel for your home. The money you save will add up fast and your conscious will feel better as well.
Currently we are thinking about getting another rain barrel to take just a bit more advantage of the rain that keeps falling on our heads.
Farming and the environment have been a passion of mine for along time. As a kid I would help my grandfather with his garden and I would play in the streams and forests that made up the Arkansas and Ohio backdrops of my childhood. As an adult I have focused my life on educating children about the wonders of nature and the joys of gardening. I have worked at environmental education centers as well as learning farms. For the last five years I have worked and devoted much of my free time to Prairie Crossing Charter School, whose mission is to educate the next leaders of our world about the importance of the environment and sustainable farming.