Cottage Economy

Less than a year ago we posted on the prospect of us providing rain barrels to fill a niche in the market and a service to Mother Earth. That first full trailer of barrels was so exciting!

Well, alot can happen in a year-and we’ve come a long way baby!

This past Saturday Mia and I unloaded a semi-trailer load of barrels to the ill masked curiosity of the neighborhood. This was a BIG project-these barrels weigh over 100lbs each. Luckily barrels are designed to move easily (their, well, round) so despite having 4.5 tones of oak to handle we had them unloaded in 30 minutes with the help of the drivers and a simple ramp of 2×4’s.

We have also made huge improvements in our production-I am on my third drill (an 8amp Bosh Hammer Drill that will try to snap your arms off if you aren’t damn careful-do not ask how I know this) and have upgraded to carbide tipped hole saws and massive auger drills to save time. Mia in her first stab at making the intakes tripled the productivity of that task. So by noon we had the all unloaded, 70 of them in the garage, and 22 built. Of course we can hardly move today, but the accomplishment is impressive. Henry Ford would be proud, and once installed these 22 barrels will account for 40,000 gallons of runoff saved annually-when the batch is completely done by the end of the month it will be closer to 150,000 gallons. Nice.

3 Responses

  1. How much are you selling your whiskel barrel rain barrels for? They look great! I could not find another way to contact you on your site, so please e-mail me at Thanks in advance!

  2. They look real nice!

    I’m just across the border from y’all (in the Twin Cities, MN). Me and the Labor Pool have 8 barrels we converted ourselves. Have done some community presentations where everyone attending got to make their own barrels. It is a lot of work, and I admire you making them for sale (local, I assume from the weight/size). I hope they sell well for you. I liked your comment (on Garden Rant?) about your intent being to get people to consider water as a resource to be managed, rather than a utility to be paid for.

  3. Thanks Rebecca!
    I am very concerned about changing mindsets. Organic produce (nothing tastes better than a fresh heirloom carrot!) and Rain Barrels are great ways to begin to alter thought patterns and prepare the way for grassroots change.

    Your rain barrels look great!

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