Sorry I am late yet again but it has been one heck of a busy last couple of weeks around the OKA. The good news is I have a huge update for you this evening and there are more in the pipe mostly in the way of bee related videos and pics but more on that later. This update has to do with our new water catchment system and you really can’t imagine what a relief it is the have this major project done and out of the way. Last summer we had some water bills over the $200 mark and anything we can do to help keep that to a minimum is worth the effort. So, this story starts last year in the summer when I found a guy out of Ft. Smith Arkansas who gets used IBC totes from a baby food manufacturing plant. They are steam cleaned after they are used a number of times and he gets them to sell. He sells them for $60 each and will deliver to anywhere within a 275 mile radius of Ft. Smith for no charge as long as you order 8 or more. I knew I wanted 8 and Bugtussle wanted 2 so we were in business.
We wrap the tanks to keep light to a minimum which in turn cuts down on the amount of algae that will grow in the tanks. We hope to use this setup in conjunction with a drip irrigation system and algae would be sure to make for lots of clogs and we don’t want to deal with that. If you want a step by step how-to on wrapping these tanks look up LDSPrepper on Youtube. He has some of the absolute best videos on this subject so dig around and you will find exactly what you need to learn everything about this set up. Also don’t hesitate to ask questions in the comments below and I will do my best to answer them for you.
While the girls were working on that Pops and I were working at getting the ground leveled and ready to accept the tanks. I worked the area over with the tractor and blade to get rid of most of the grass and get it roughly leveled then we used the shovel, tamper and level to really fine tune it.
This was a slow process but we really needed things to be level to make things run right in the end. The big chore was gonna come when it was time to get the second level of tanks on the top. Pops had sort of planned to use lumber to make ramps and then decided that it would be easier to put them one at a time into the back of the truck and left them into place. That worked like a charm but I’m sorry to say there were not pics of our herculean effort because Ma was too busy wringing her hands with worry over the two of us being more than two feet off of the ground. Oh, and she was holding the ladder that was necessary because my truck bed is rather narrow.
Anyhow, the first day we were able to get all of the tanks installed but it was time for happy hour by that point so we quit for the day and had an adult beverage or 3. That was also the day that Uncle Bigfoot showed up and took on his role as site foreman. It’s always a treat when he shows up, he tends to bring with him wild stories of hairy beasts in the woods and interesting excuses for pissing the bed.
The following day was set aside for other things like work for me and a trip to The Evil Empire Regional Headquarters (Sam’s Club) for everyone else. After a week of rain delays the crew from Vinceco showed up to hang our guttering that we needed to be able to plumb the inlets or for any of this system to work at all. I was able to take a long lunch and tame the beast in the back yard while they did their work. They did a damn fine job of it too so if you are in the NEOK area and need some gutter or siding work done, don’t hesitate to give them a call.
Anyway, the day after that while I was off at work Pops was able to get a large amount of the plumbing finished up. Funny thing about that guy is I think he can out work most guys half his age. Don’t believe me? Just look at how ragged Uncle Bigfoot looks and all he did was watch Pops working.
I stopped at a honey hole on the way home from work and found a few of our favorite mushrooms. If you’ve never had these tasty treats I suggest you educate your self and get out there and find some when the opportunity presents itself.
The morning that the Rentals left we finally got a little rain so they didn’t get to witness this first hand. Lucky for them I had my phone at the ready and got this video so they could check it out. I was able to catch a small leak after shooting this video but it’s working like a charm since this was shot. As a matter of fact, we have had 2.25 inches of rain and the bottom tanks are full to the brim.
I’m a scavenger and I come by it naturally. I remember my Grandad digging through junk piles and dumpster diving and coming out with some pretty great stuff. I do it too and I have a double stack of these pallets that I have been dragging home for the last couple years. I work at a print shop and we get inserts in on these little 39 inch by 39 inch light duty pallets. They are too small to use at work so they mostly end up in the dumpster and that just doesn’t make any sense to me. What does make sense is the fact that they look like a picket fence. I wonder what would happen if I scabbed a few of them together?
Looks pretty good so far eh? What if we make four of them and stand them up around the rain tanks and the AC unit? This is what happens? We end up with a damn nice fence for the price if a few posts and other materials but not fencing panels or the lumber to build them, that’s what.
You may be wondering how we stood it up. Well we sure didn’t set any posts in concrete. We’ve got our water lines running under some of this stuff and I didn’t want to be digging holes and pouring concrete in case we should ever need to move some of this. Now, I don’t plan to ever have to do that but in case we should need to this option just made more sense.
Now, we’ve still got to come up with a gate and we want to have an arbor over the gate so that still needs to be accomplished as well as planting up a bed below the tanks to grow climbing vines and the like to help shade them but for the most part this huge project is out of the way. On to more fence building and tree planting and garden planting and all the other fun stuff that needs to take place on an operating permaculture farm.
Speaking of permaculture how about a shot of a sweet little polyculture. See Ma and I are members of a seed group on the FaceSpace and some of the members of that group are really concerned with invasives. What like Mint and Horseradish and Comfrey. Holy cow how will we ever control these monstrous invasives? How can something that makes food be invasive? I wonder how they would feel if they knew just out of this shot are some Dandelions and Autumn Olives. Shhh don’t tell them they might show up with a jug of RoundUp and kill my food.
Well, that’s about all I got, take it easy.
The Particulars About Our Climate and Catchment.
Average Annual: 42.08 inches
Days With Precipitation: 84
Wettest Year: 62.50 inches in 1961
Driest Year: 22.34 inches in 1963
Greatest Daily Rainfall: 7.73 inches (Nowata, August 14, 1961)
1015 sq ft roof area
2300 gal storage
26694.5 gal per average year rainfall
3.6257 inches of rain to fill tanks completely
Need some IBC totes contact these guys.