Posts tagged ‘farm’

Looking For an Alternative to Those High-Priced Rain Barrels? Try This.

If you’re planning to move to a homestead, you’ve undoubtedly researched rainwater harvesting and water purification. For us and for most people, the biggest hurdle is cost. A rainwater system is expensive and so is a purification system. Like, really expensive. For instance, a larger reverse osmosis system costs upwards of $300 and it requires power to run. This problem can be eliminated by using a berkey water purification system – costs a bit less than $300 depending on the size and requires no power to run – but what about the rainwater collection itself? Purchasing a system is nice, but for a family of 3-4 people, you’re looking at over $1,000. Some of us just don’t have that kind of money, and the barrels themselves are very expensive.

Searching for alternatives, we came across this article about rain harvesting. It is the ibcanswer we have been looking for. That answer is industrial IBC food grade containers. They are made from materials that are safe to hold food or water, and they have only ever held food or water substances. They mostly come in 275 gallon size, they can be cleaned for reuse and best of all, they are a fraction of the price of rain barrels. I found some on this website for less than $100 each. (They also sell food grade barrels, wooden crates, pallets and other very useful stuff, but some items have a minimum order stipulation.) That means, for example, that a 430 gallon collection system which would have cost me over $800 just for the barrels now costs a fraction of that and I get 120 more gallons. You don’t need to be a math whiz to figure that one out, folks. It’s a lot cheaper. Check Craigslist, Amazon and eBay. They’re out there.

There are few things to consider with these containers, but the main consideration is algae growth. As you can see, these particular tanks are translucent. That means light will filter through, and light means algae. You’re going to need to keep these tanks covered with something so that light cannot penetrate the material, or you will have an algae problem. You can also buy or build a box for them to sit in and you could probably also bury them, but we prefer them to be where we can see them and get to them if something were to need adjustment.

We are getting ours soon. If you have any other ideas, let us know in the comments! Good luck!


SWAT Raid on Peaceful Organic Farmers is a Big Budget Bust

And in the seemingly-neverending stories lately about farmers, gardeners and housewives being accosted for the simple act of growing or producing food in a way the government doesn’t want you to (raw milk, anyone?), another story comes to you out of Arlington, TX.

As published on

The Garden of Eden is a conscious community located on a 3.5 acre space in Kennedale, Texas (DFW metroplex). They are dedicated to living sustainably by raising fresh food, utilizing earthen materials for building projects, and facilitating inspired events that bring out humans highest potential.

Since 2009, they have been providing food, shelter and sustainability education classes and workshops to the public for free. Their 3.5 acre land contains chickens, bees, composting stations, a large vegetable garden and many wildcrafted trees and plants that are used for foods, medicines, and household and beauty products. Their vision is to be a fully self-sustaining center for education on sustainable living.

At around seven thirty last Friday morning, inhabitants of The Garden of Eden, a small Intentional Community based on Sustainability, were awakened by a SWAT raid conducted by the City of Arlington for suspicion of being a full fledged marijuana growth and trafficking operation. Ultimately only a single arrest was made based on unrelated outstanding traffic violations, a handful of citations were given for city code violations, and zero drug related violations were found. The entire operation lasted about 10 hours and involved many dozens of city officials, SWAT team, police officers and code compliance employees, and numerous official vehicles including dozens of police cars and several specialized vehicular equipment that was involved in the “abatement” operation. Witnesses say that there were helicopters and unmanned flying drones circling the property in the days prior to the raid that are presumed to have been a part of the intelligence gathering. The combined expenses for the raid itself and the collection of information leading up to the fruitless raid are estimated in the tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars.

All 8 adults present in the house were initially handcuffed at the gunpoint of heavily armed SWAT officers, including the mother of a 22 month old and a two week old baby who was separated from her children during the raid. The police enforced activity on the day of the raid included mowing the grass, the forcible destruction of both wild and cultivated plants like blackberries, lamb’s quarters and okra, and the removal of other varied materials from around the premises such as pallets, tires and cardboard that the Community members say they had collected for use in sustainability projects. No marijuana or other drugs were found on site and the inhabitants of the premises were all unarmed.

After several hours and many requests from the community members, the City Police Officers finally produced two warrants. The first was a Search Warrant for a suspected marijuana growth and distribution operation purportedly being concealed on the premises. There was also an Inspection & Abatement Warrant for code compliance violations such as tall grass and storage in the yard, an issue that the City of Arlington and The Garden of Eden have been disputing since February of this year. The marijuana warrant was issued based on an unsubstantiated claim by an Arlington City Police Officer of possession of marijuana by one of the community members for which there is no police record. Garden of Eden community members also say they have a series of documents showing that their dispute with the City of Arlington over the code compliance violations had already been addressed and settled.

Landowner Shellie Smith states that she has been requesting a peaceful and honorable resolution since the onset of the dispute in February, requesting the aid of the City Manager Trey Yelverton, Sheriff Dee Anderson and Mayor Robert Cluck, but has received no response in the matter. Ms. Smith says “the City codes are in violation of our natural and Constitutional rights to live freely while causing damage to no one, and since there is no damaged party, there has been no crime committed on our part. Rather, the City of Arlington has trespassed and committed robbery against us, amongst other crimes, and will be held accountable in a court of law in due time. We have been targeted by the system because we are showing people how to live without it. We are growing more than just tomatoes here, we are growing the consciousness that will allow people to live freely and sustainably, and the system doesn’t want that to be known.”

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