An excellent video to watch before setting up your rainwater harvesting system. ArkansasPrepper covers the basics to save you time, money and frustration. Valuable tips found in the comment section too.
Video created by ArkansasPrepper
While rainwater catchment systems don't have to be overly complicated, lack of planning can turn this money-saving green DIY project into a ongoing laborious chore. Ian M Burke provides some sensible and practical tips when creating an effective rainwater harvesting system with IBC totes that can provide water for your livestock, garden and family for years to come. Ian discusses important tips for planning, regulating flow rate, proper drain systems, avoiding mosquitos and much more valuable information for anyone considering harvesting rainwater. Share your own rainwater collection tips below!
Yesterday I was researching uses for 55-gallon metal barrels. It's amazing what creative folks have made from the barrels, including bathroom sinks, snow plows and bike racks, all featured on pinterest. As a music lover, I was fascinated when I came across a video created in 1956 by the folksinger, Pete Seeger. In the video, Mr. Seeger visits Trinidad in the West Indies to learn about the steel drums or pan drums. The video not only features a little bit of history about the area and its inhabitants, it also shows craftsmen, from start to finish, building the steel drums from old 55-gallon oil barrels. This innovation, first invented by slaves in the 19th century, was the precursor for many other percussion instruments used around the world today. You can also learn how to make the steel drum mallets here.
Aquaponics has been practiced throughout the world for at least a few thousand years. Its popularity has recently made a resurgence as an environmentally friendly sustainable farming method. Originally, aquaponic systems were most likely established in or near wetlands, marshes and freshwater lakes. Today, DIY aquaponic farmers often utilize upcycled IBC totes or similar containers which provides more opportunity to set up aquaponic systems in backyards, indoor spaces and public gardens. As more individuals, producers and farmers embrace aquaponics, more funding opportunities are becoming available.
The USDA provides numerous grants for funding aquaponics operations through the USDA Sustainable Farming programs. The USDA funds education programs, research endeavors and small business. Beginning farmers, minorities, women, and military veterans may qualify for microloans. Access their detailed guide to grant opportunities here.
Southern SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education) offers grant opportunities for individuals, schools, and organizations. The program's emphasis is sustainable farming practices throughout the United States with several different areas of funding available such as, Research and Education Grants, Professional Development Programs, Producer Grants, On-Farm Research Grants, and Graduate Student Grants.
Fundafarmer.org has compiled an excellent list of resources and grant and loan opportunities for farmers, producers and individuals interested in funding their aquaponics projects. They've included tips for successful grant applications, numerous grant opportunities and important dates.
Check out these other resources for additional funding opportunities.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Texas Department of Agriculture
Gardening and composting in small spaces like a patio or balcony can be challenging. Container gardening in pots utilizes less space than traditional gardens but may still require more space than apartment and condo dwellers have available. It also requires quite a few containers for a variety of plants which can take up too much space and can be quite heavy for a balcony to support. Composting bins also require space not available to all apartment and condo dwellers.
Barrel vertical gardening presents a great alternative for gardeners with minimal space. The vertical barrel garden and composting 2-in-1 system is actually housed in one 55-gallon barrel, yields up to 50 plants and only requires about 4 square feet of space. Learn more about barrel gardening here.
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