6. Rain Barrels
Another way that we work to create a closed-loop system is by catching and storing rainwater to irrigate our plants. These rain barrels just catch rain from the big greenhouse, but we also utilize rain catchment on our tool shed and house. Rainwater is ideal for plants because it doesn’t contain any of the chlorine or salts that are added to city drinking water. These two tanks each hold 1100 gallons, so the total amount of water we can store right here is over 35 bathtubs worth! The water feeds right into the irrigation of the big greenhouse, where the tomatoes inside need about a gallon of water each per week. If it is not raining, we can also fill the tanks from the city water system, with an added bonus. If we fill it and then let the water sit for at least 24 hours before using, the majority of the chlorine will evaporate out, leaving us with water better suited for the plants.
Try this at home:
Check out the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District (https://www.cuyahogaswcd.org/) to learn about getting a rain barrel for your own home.