Given our organic principals, we naturally chose to collect rainwater at the new market garden. This will help us ecologically as well as economically during the first year of the garden and beyond. When we bought the property we understood that there were no public utilities on the property (electric, gas or water). We hope to avoid putting electrical and water on the property for at least one year until we are selling produce from the garden that needs to be washed with potable water and chilled or stored with electric refrigeration. The installation of rain catchment is crucial for irrigating the fruit trees, bushes, and other items during the first year and to reduce the usage of municipal water go forward.
Phase one was to install rain barrels, gutters, and downspouts on our new shed. The wide roof expanse of the shed will hopefully provide enough water to keep the trees irrigated as well as numerous berry bushes being installed this spring.
We looked for the easiest to install system that would require the least amount of cutting and specialty skill to install. We came upon the K-Snap Vinyl gutter system. This modular, easy to install system had simple, easy to follow instructions. My husband started the installation before I left work and had much of it installed before I got to the garden. I assisted with the balance of the installation.
Essentially, there are brackets that need to be installed on the overhang of the shed in a manner that directs the flow of water to the downspout. The gutters are then installed. The modular nature of the system necessitated that we cut a portion of the gutter to fit.
We then used the adhesive we purchased to fuse together the two pieces of gutter on a joiner piece.
Next up was to install the down spout. These are modular and are affixed directly to the structure. We then used elbow joints and downspout pieces to direct the flow of water over the catchment barrels.
There is rain in the forecast for tomorrow, so I am so thankful that we could get these set up before the rains!
We will be creating a free-standing rain catchment surface later this spring after we purchase two new rain barrels (hopefully with a discount from our county soil and water conservation division). But this is a good start on conserving rainwater for irrigation at our new market garden!