outsidethebox

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  1. Free Water Harvest the Rain save $$$

    We have been harvesting rain water for years now. Every time it rains it's like pennies for heaven. This is the best water you can get, the best and it's free! There is a tremendous amount of water running off your roof, thousands of gallons. Collecting can be as easy as a bucket or trash can along your roof line. With gutters you can direct the flow into a tank or cistern. If your tank is high enough off the ground you can plumb it and it will gravity flow to your yard or garden when needed. If you live in town rain collection should be a must. The run off over taxes the sewer systems, picks up the oil off the streets and becomes some really nasty stuff. If you collect it you've got free pure rainwater for your yard or garden. Some towns and cities have even installed rain barrels so they didn't have to build bigger waste water treatment plants. It is a greener solution. This is a must,it's one of the neatest things I've learned from harvesting rainwater, to kill mosquitoes without chemicals or expense, put some feeder gold fish in your tank or cistern. You'll never have to feed them, they will live off the bugs and mosquito larvae. They can also be a good indicator of the water quality, kind like the canary in the coal mine. We get enough water to grow all our organic food, flowers, and rare plants this way. You could purify this water slap a label on it and sell it for a dollar a bottle. Which some very happy folks do, since it's a free resource. The large cistern I built out of concrete, and inlaid with mosaics, petrified coral, jade, and have screened it to keep the leaves out of the water. It took some time to do, but will last longer than I will. The large plastic tanks are great, you want to get the opaque black ones which will keep the light out and will reduce algae. If you bury them you will have to pump, above ground you can have the gravity flow water. The up front costs are barrels, tanks, and plumbing. The returns are free pure water and the satisfaction of harnessing the rain. One of the most rewarding projects you can do with the highest return. All life needs water. _________________
  2. When I was 14 I started composting, with waterhose and pitchfork in hand I turn and watered everyday. I got my compost a lot faster but I put enough energy into it to build a house, hmmm youthful energy. Now older and wiser I make ten times the compost for 1/50 the work and can use the extra energy saved to build a house, hmmm knowledge is key. This is how it's done. I now make 10 times more compost with 1/50 the work and energy compared with how I did it over 35 years ago, when I turned it everyday. I reuse or recycle everything I can, and picked up some field fencing someone threw away. I made a bunch of cylinders out of the fencing as large as I could easily move around. The most work and energy wasted is moving the compost. Put the cylinders where the future garden beds will be and layer them with small cut brush, organic material, manure, and dirt. Do this layer after layer , when they are done cover with dirt this will filter through the pile introducing anaerobic bacteria when it rains. Then walk away and leave it alone and do nothing with it. Start another and finish, and keep doing this, after awhile you will have 2-3-4 or more cylinders full. Now in a years time use the first one, and then the next and if you continue this cycle of building and using, you will have compost forever with the least amount of work. It's all good, coffee, veggie the only thing you don't want to put in is anything toxic. I remember visiting a old man when I was a kid he showed me his compost pile he was so proud of it. He told me how he raked up all his black and english walnut leaves and put all the walnut hulls back into it. Quite awhile later we went back to visit him and I asked how his compost pile was doing, as I had started one myself. He started cussing! It seems the walnut hulls are toxic full of tannin they are actully considered a toxic waste and are monitered at nut hulling packing operations as a toxic waste. Well he killed his plants that he put his compost on. He had to throw it all away. Said he would never compost again! I told him that was wrong, he inspired me to compost, and he just couldn't quit! I am not a quitter and I wasn't going to let him quit either. It was just a mistake with the walnuts. Lucky for me I didn't have any walnuts in my pile. I told him not to give up and he said he would try again but not with the f%#@#*g walnuts. Another friend at a waste water plant decided to compost all the solid waste from the waste water plant. It sounded like a great idea? It could feed crops, it was a BIG MISTAKE! Turns out it was full of heavy metals and chemicals from what people put down their drains. It cost a fortune to package and haul it off as a toxic waste. If you follow my advise a cylinder is stronger than a square and easier just cut the wire so one side has longer wires to bend around you can us it over and over. You want to fill it up and leave it. Get back to it in a year and use it. I just opened one of my compost cyliners today. with my fingers i went down the seam and straightened the wire where I joined the cylinder and peeled it back took 3 minutes. I tell you this is the way to go it's free if you can find the fencing and there is no easier way i know of. It really works and will save you time and money. Thinking out the compost pile can save you lots of time, money, and energy, making it a pleasure not so much of a chore.