blame it on the rain

Ah, Milli Vanilli. How I adored them and was broken-hearted to find out they were total frauds.

Anywho, I have rain barrels! Thanks to dig this chick’s new sponsor, Clean Air Gardening.

I have been in the January Missoula funk because I am wholly exhausted with the inversion. Every winter our sweet valley creates the perfect weather system to yield a perfect inversion. This means Missoula is brown and foggy for many weeks, sometimes months. Weather forecasters from all over get boners over the geography and layered-air system that makes Missoulians ready crawl out of their skin come March.

Even the chickens are suffering from seasonal affective disorder. Sweet Clementine is missing some neck feathers which, according to several sites, could be molting or stress or mites. I think it is a bit early for molting (?). The girls have been confined to their coop a lot for the last few months because of the cold and wind. Last weekend I cleaned out the coop (long overdue) in an effort to perk Clem up with the cozy, fresh hay.

So, when I was schlepping my kid and four bags into the house last Thursday, on day of the first peak at sunshine in weeks, I was pleased to discover I couldn’t get in my front door because my ruddy red, recycled rain barrels had arrived. The 55 gallon beasts brought a bit more sunshine into my foggy life. Their original purpose was carrying hot peppers from Greece and now they’ll catch rain water in Montana. Love it.

Clean Air Gardening gave me the barrels and rain water diverters in exchange for my documenting the installation and use with photos and words.* I have yearned for rain barrels for many years and never made the financial plunge. Although I think I’ll discover that the cash money I’ll save watering my potted plants and low water vegetation that falls under my roof overhang and never ever gets any rainfall will pay for the barrels in no time flat.

It is right now every year that I get itchy and twitchy for spring. Seeds and thawed soil. Rhubarb and pasty legs exposed to vitamin d. Rain. I feel like I got a tiny peak at spring when myself and fifteen women took a little hiatus to Jackson Hot Springs last weekend for a mama-sans-kiddo soaking and imbibing. The temperature wasn’t very spring like but the sunshine. Oh, the sunshine.

Happy almost spring out there.

* I am interested in other arrangements like this. E mail me at digthischick at gmail dot com.

16 Responses to blame it on the rain

  1. jen says:

    a sponsor … like a gardening football star or something.
    and even better pay-off! who needs millions o’ dollars when you can get rain barrels??
    i sound sarcastic … but really? i’m just jealous.
    go garden girl!

  2. Chiot's Run says:

    How exciting. We made our own from recycled corn syrup barrels from Smuckers. We hooked them all together on a platform and now I have gallons and gallons for my plants (not to mention the big biceps I get from schlepping all the water!).

    I ended up with 7 -55gal barrels full of lovely water for my plants. Your plants will love it! Mine did so much better than with the chlorinated tap water.

    check them out:

  3. TRB Holt says:

    YAHOO for you! Not only for you but also for all the green things you grow. I am so proud of you sweetie!!!! I took a peek at Clean Air Gardening. I like what I see there and will pass in on to fellow garden people.

    “oh my darling Clementine”, poor sweet thing, if I were there I would bake her a grub pie!

    AND Bug in that photo!!! SO CUTE, she reminds me of your Uncle Hal at Christmastime….when he opens his gifts and puts every article of clothing on that he received.

    Love to you, Mom

  4. Katie says:

    What a beautiful front door you have! Super cool about the rain barrels~and I hope your chicken is okay. I read your title and was expecting some outrageously fun Margot video 😉

  5. Melissa says:

    okay not to go off-topic but i am wondering how to order some of your super cute aprons?

  6. Kelle says:

    Baby, you rock my world. Seriously. You DO care about what you do, and you are such a follow-through-er. And you practice everything you preach. And you so make me want to jump on your wagon. You can be the engine, and I’ll be the caboose. And then, maybe build up to being on a car a little closer to you, k? I would so have a garden if our Florida weather and property allowed. Oh, I wanna be you when I grow up. Love yous.

  7. joan says:

    Congrats on the barrels. Very cool. My gramma Albus had a big barrel full of rain water that she used for various things. I loved that barrel. What cracked me up was seeing your barrels in the entryway.

  8. Ginger says:

    Spiffy rain barrels! Sweet. I need some of those – we get plenty o’ rain around here. I’m dreaming of spring too. Just ordered a wack of seeds.

  9. Chiot’s: you put my rain barrels to shame! So cool that you found all those barrels. I have been searching high and low for large devices that weren’t used to hold toxic yuck and no luck.

    I promise aprons for sale and bug videos to come soon!

  10. Kirsten says:

    I lived in southern Arizona all my life up until this past April so I am kind of new to the whole winter thing. What is the winter protocol for rain barrels? Do you bury or otherwise insulate them in the winter, or do you just empty them out for the winter on the notion that you won’t be watering anything in the winter, or…?

    Also, if you are interested in rainwater harvesting, here is a great link from a local rainwater and greywater guru where I came from:

    It is geared somewhat toward Arizona and other arid lands, but a lot of the information is applicable elsewhere (here included). I went to one of his lectures while I lived in Arizona and learned that there is A LOT we can do even without rain barrels.

  11. FinnyKnits says:

    First things first: Hello Alice and stylish wee one – you are both very cute!

    Second – poor Alice’s nekkid neck. I know nothing of chickens, so to me she just looks nekkid.

    Third – YAY! Rain barrels! Bubba and I are considering getting barrels, too, thanks to some gentle chiding by our way advanced neighbors. I’ll look forward to seeing how yours work out.


  12. Kirsten: Thanks for the site! As for the non-garden season in Montana: by the time frost is rolling around, the water I saved will be long gone and I will probably disconnect and store for the cold cold Montana winter. I would hesitate to leave them out because perhaps the freezing/thawing would be too much for the sweet barrels….although, I don’t know what I am doing so I’ll let you know when I know!

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