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Posted on Tue, Feb 21, 2012 : 6 a.m.

Build your own rain barrel at a Project Grow workshop Feb. 25

By Jim and Janice Leach


Sample Rain Barrel from Maxi Container

On Saturday, Feb. 25, Project Grow will host a "Build your own Rain Barrel" workshop at the Nature House at the Leslie Science and Nature Center. Workshops will run between 10 a.m. and noon, and Project Grow will schedule multiple sessions between 10 a.m. and noon depending on demand. Online registration is available here.

Participants will have a chance to make their own terra-cotta rain barrel with the help of volunteers. Each participant will leave the workshop with a completed rain barrel with downspout adapter.

The cost of the workshop is $65 and includes all the materials needed to get the rain barrel ready to use. If you would like to take the class only (no rain barrel), the suggested donation is $15.

Project Grow is partnering with Maxi Container on this rain barrel workshop. You can visit Maxi Container's garden product page and see the terra cotta rain barrels. The barrels used reconditioned food grade barrels, and the appearance may vary from the picture. Since the condition may vary, the workshop is first come first served, and you will be able to choose your barrel. Follow this link to see the materials and instructions.

Proceeds from this workshop will go towards the Leslie Discovery Project: a collaborative effort between Project Grow and the Leslie Science and Nature Center to create a new demonstration garden for kids. Learn more about this project by visiting Project Grow's Leslie Discovery Project website.

Rain barrels have many advantages for gardeners and for the environment. In the 20 Minute Garden, we use water from our rain barrels to water the vegetable garden between rain showers. That reduces our water bill.

Rain water has not been treated with chemicals so it's better for our plants, for the soil and for the environment. Rain barrels catch water that would normally go through the sewers to the water treatment facility and therefore save water treatment costs. For Ann Arbor residents, rain barrels entitle you to a water bill credit.

If you are interested in adding a rain barrel — or another rain barrel — to your property, this workshop sounds like a fun and educational way to get one.

Janice and Jim Leach tend a backyard plot in downtown Ann Arbor, where they try to grow as many vegetables and other plants as possible. For the last four years, they've published gardening tips, photos and stories at their 20 minute Garden website.