Of Rain Barrels And Worm Bins: Need Some Advice

Of Rain Barrels And Worm Bins: Need Some Advice

ByGroovy Green Jun 8, 2008

With the heat now taking hold here in NY — and the water falling less and less — I’ve started feeling the urge to pick up a rain barrel. I’ve also been intrigued by the thought of pursuing some vermiculture — though I admit, picking up Daryl Hannah’s worm bin would be a fine addition to the back deck. Too bad it costs $900.

But back to the rain barrels. Probably the most popular commercial option I’ve been spotting around Ithaca, NY is The Rain Catcher. It has a nice appearance, can hold about 55 gallons, is expandable, and has some nice features (hose, screen, etc.) One thing I don’t like it that the top does not come off — so if anything falls in there, it would be kind of tough to get it out. The screen would stop most debris, but I find the built in top annoying. I’m currently seeing it for about $138 in the stores — which is a bargain considering that rising oil costs add more if you purchase it online.

Of course, I could make my own — but I’m just not sure when I’d get around to it. For those that have succeeded in this area, was it a piece of cake? Do you like the commercial models better?

In terms of grabbing a worm bin, I was kind of taken aback by how much a kit costs: Between $90-$190 dollars. Once again, you can very easily find directions for making your own — but there seems to be a bit more at stake in terms of air flow, moisture, and other factors. I’d love to hear from people who have established successful worm colonies in DIY ways — and even those that have bought one of the kits in stores.

And here’s another thing I’ve been wondering: For those living in areas prone to droughts, are you seeing the availability of rain barrels and other water conservation products in big box stores? I only ask because when I visited Home Depot and Lowes the other day, they had nothing in that category.

Thanks for any advice!