Catch that rain last night?
My rain barrel did. With forecasts still calling for freezing temperatures in Iowa, I consulted Rich Patterson of the Indian Creek Nature Center to see if it was safe to set up the barrel for the season. Patterson had set up his rain barrels Sunday (April 7,) he said, “so I think it’s OK. If it gets cold enough to freeze a rain barrel I’m moving south.”
So, with one night’s rain, my 65-gallon “Moby” is already full, keeping that water out of the storm sewer system, and thankfully, out of my basement. It was just in time, too. The rain water I had saved before winter to water my houseplants was nearly depleted. Now I have a fresh supply. The water captured in the barrel during infrequent storms also carried me through last summer’s drought, with little need for the garden hose.
Rain barrels are great for that dual-purpose, in times of flood and drought. Several garden centers now carry rain barrels and I’ve seen workshops where you can make your own. After a successful “million gallon challenge” campaign in 2010, the Indian Creek Nature Center is again offering rain barrels to purchase. One is the “Ivy,” a “little sister” to the Moby barrel the center previously sold. Made in Iowa of 50 percent recycled plastic, the Ivy is sold for $70.
Others are 55-gallon capacity barrels with two overflow options from Rain Barrels Iowa, selling for $120 and $165. The rain barrels are “up-cycled” in Des Moines from repurposed food shipping barrels originating
primarily in Spain and Greece. Rain barrel accessories are also available, including some nice-looking rain barrel stands.
The Nature Center does not stock inventory of all products, so once you make a purchase, they will order your merchandise for pick-up. If you have questions, call Susan Gordon at (319)-362-0664.
See the Indian Creek Nature Center’s website for more details.