Thursday, June 11, 2009

Shelter From The Storm

Here at the Night Kitchen Bakery Amy Edelman and I (John Millard) have been working diligently to Green Up our shop. Global Warming has gotten many people thinking about their impact on the environment both present and future. Amy and I have been giving it a fair amount of thought as well. So far we have made changes to our bakery which awarded us a Green Certification, started a composting system and an organic garden. One of our most recent completed plans is the Rain Barrel. Amy went to a seminar given by the Water Dept. and received a free Rain Barrel. You can purchase Rain Barrels from various sources readily found via Google.

The significance of the Rain Barrel is to lessen peak runoff water during a major rain event. Since parking lots, buildings and other paved areas of our City shed water to sewers that can overflow. Excess rain runoff burdens streams here and collectively burdens rivers and bays downstream. The water brings with it pollutants like excess fertilizers from lawns, trash from the streets, oils from the roads and much more.

How can one barrel of rain really help? This is a good point. Also, if the barrel fills up then it no longer holds back excess rain but spills over as if there was no barrel at all. For this concept to work many homes, businesses and public gathering places with a roof could help to collectively reduce the pollutants that go into our estuaries thus helping aquatic wildlife and generally keeping our water system cleaner. The more barrels the better. Second point is keeping the barrel empty enough to be beneficial during a rain. I have heard that runoff from your roof might not be good for watering your organic garden since shingles do let loose particles into your barrel at times. At present our plan is to water our flower pots in front of our store as well as offer our water to neighbors for similar purposes.

I love the idea of having a rain barrel. Amy and I would also love to have a green roof, solar panels, a windmill, a larger garden with a nice sitting area in the back of the store. Like most things in life all of this takes, time, money and much effort. For now I will be happy with our rain barrel and look to future plans to brighten our lives and that of our family, friends and customers. Feel free to make any comments or suggestions since we strive to know and appreciate more and not to stop learning.

Here are a few photos of our rain barrel. Our rain barrel was installed (gutter work and overflow drain placement is necessary usually) by Handyman and Painting Wizards. If you are interested you can call them at 215-242-4092 or email them at They have done a couple of jobs for us and we recommend them without reservation. Good luck and hope you have fun with your rain barrel project.

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