Viking Aronia Plants for Sale at Great Escape Nursery

Viking Aronia Plants for Sale at Great Escape Nursery

The Viking Aronia plant is a unique edible plant that is high in antioxidants. Rooted Viking Aronia Plants for Sale at Great Escape Nursery.

Viking Aronia Plants for Sale

Price $9.95 –

Viking Aronia Plants for Sale at Great Escape Nursery

Viking Aronia Plants for Sale at Great Escape Nursery

Viking Aronia Plant Information

When it comes to unusual things to grow in your garden Aronia ranks right up there with the best of them. Aronia (aronia melanocarpa) is a member of the rose family and is a deciduous cold hardy shrub. It bears fruit that is very astringent… so much so that it is also called chokeberry because the astringency makes you want to choke.

This attractive ornamental is a very showy plant with leaves that come out bright green in the spring.  They turn darker green as summer goes on and then turns bright red in autumn. In mid to late May it has fragrant flowers with five petals that give way to clumps of small astringent fruit as the summer passes.

I have had great success with the Viking Aronia. In the second year of growing, it produced about two cups of berries. In the third year of growing it produced a gallon zip lock bag full. I enjoy the fruit fresh out of hand from the Viking. This year I set aside a gallon bag full of the fruit and froze it.

Plant Specifications

This plant is hardy from zones 3 to 8, it prefers moist acidic well drained soil and full sun. It is a multi-stemmed shrub that reaches a height and width of 6-foot. It has leaves that are alternate on the branches. They are 1 to 3 inches long and just under 1 inch up to 2 inches wide.

Viking Aronia (Aronia Melanocarpa)

The fruit matures in August and is small black and glossy and has up to 5 small seeds inside. Aronia is native to eastern North America.

Viking Aronia

Viking Aronia

A picture of one of our rooted Viking Aronia is displayed above.  Please note that this plant was picked at random and the other plants may have roots smaller or larger than this plant.

More information including an Aronia berry recipe please visit Aronia Plant Care | Unusual Things to Grow in Your Garden.

Be sure to check out our other great plants for sale at Great Escape Nursery.

Thank you for visiting, we look forward to answering any questions

MAP

MAP

Notes will be posted here from Todd’s plant propagation workshop that he is teaching at the Mid-Atlantic permaculture conference.

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting shows a mature goumi plant that has fruit ready to harvest, how to tell when it is ready to harvest and the method of harvesting.

About Sweet Scarlet Goumi

Elaeagnus multiflora is the botanical name of goumi and is in the same family as Autumn Olive and Russian Olive.  While autumn olive and Russian olive are sometimes considered an invasive plant because the spread so prolifically by seed, that is not really the case for goumi.

Sweet Scarlet Goumi is a Ukrainian plant and is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 4-8. It is a perennial deciduous shrub that grows up to 9 feet high.  It likes well drained soil and at least a half a day of sunshine.  It produces fragrant creamy white flowers in May followed by fruit in June.  It fixes nitrogen in the soil, which basically puts fertilizer in the ground for free when you prune it.

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Bush

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Bush

Where is the Fruit?

The fruit is deep red when it is ready to harvest.  However, if you are just walking by the bush and not paying attention, you may miss the fruit all together.  The fruit grows on the underside of the bush and if your plant is very bushy, like mine is, then the fruit is almost hidden.  You actually have to push the branches and leaves aside to see the fruit.  But use caution as the shrub has long sharp thorns.

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Fruit 3

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Fruit

Harvesting

Your fruit is ready to harvest when it is a deep dark red.  The darker red that the fruit is, the sweeter the fruit is.  The fruit will turn red when it is the size of a small marble or very small cherry.

To harvest, simply grab the stem holding the fruit to the branch and give a tug.  If you are eating the fruit right away, you could just grab the fruit and give a tug.  If you are going to try and store the fruit for a day or two, make sure you pull the stem with the fruit.  The fruit does not last as long without the stem.

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Fruit 2

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Fruit

Don’t Store the Fruit

The fruit does not store well. The fruit will store for a day or two in the refrigerator but then it gets soft and rubbery.  I have found that the taste doesn’t change much when it is rubbery, it just looks better and has a better texture when it is fresh.

Sweet but Astringent

The fruit has a flavor like I have never tasted before.  It has a pleasant sweet taste but also has a slight astringency.  Astringency is where it makes your mouth pucker a little, kind of like eating a grape seed or the peel of an unripe banana.  It has a seed in the center that I generally do not eat.  Some folks on my plant tours have eaten the seeds and they say it has a nutty flavor.  I didn’t get that when I tried it.  The seeds have kind of a woody texture to them and I can’t seem to get past that.

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Seed

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Seed

The fruit is claimed to have 3 times the lycopene of tomatoes and to be high in vitamins A, C, and E.  I have seen several recipes online for jams and jellies, but I can’t seem to gather enough to make jams or jellies, because I end up eating them raw because they are so good.  I just fill a baggie up and take them to work with me and snack on them throughout the day.

The Video

Click on the picture below to view the Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting YouTube video.

Sweet Scarlet Goumi YouTube

Sweet Scarlet Goumi YouTube

If you enjoyed the video, please consider subscribing to our YouTube channel.  Then you can keep track of when we add new videos to our channel and it helps us by raising our ratings.

Thanks for viewing the post and watching the video titled Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting.

Help support a small business:

One way to support us is by shopping on Amazon.  If you shop at Amazon, please go through our site.  All you have to do is click the Amazon button on the menu bar at the top of every page on our web site.  That link will take you to Amazon and you then shop as you normally do.  It does NOT cost you one penny more, but it does help us out!  Thank you very much for helping to support our small business!


Here’s another way to support us: Great Escape Farms and Todd McCree are now on Patreon!  If you enjoy our work and want to help support us, please check out our Patreon page at: https://www.patreon.com/gef. You can support us for as little as $1.

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Fruit

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Fruit

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal shows how to get rid of tent caterpillars on small trees. The video also briefly diverts to cedar apple rust.

The Hunt

Every morning I grab my cup of coffee and walk around the homestead.  This is therapy for me to just relax, take in nature, enjoy the work that I have done, and to look for items that need to be addressed.  One of those items that occasionally needs to be addressed is pests on the plants.  Recently on my walks I noticed that tent caterpillars have moved into my orchard and needed to be taken care of.

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal

These particular caterpillars are attacking my pear tree, apple tree, cherry tree, elderberry bush and a blue berry bush. The caterpillars build silk tents around the leaves and then they proceed to eat the leaves.  They do not eat all the way through the leaves but do eat enough of the leaves so that they turn brown.

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal

Why not attack later in the day?

The caterpillars move like caffeine addicts on a coffee high in the afternoon.  They are also spread out to various spots on the tree.  I have found that the caterpillars are very slow moving in the morning and that is a good time to get them when they are all in the nest.  For this reason, I usually plan my caterpillar assault in the early morning before work.

The Attack!

My method of killing these little boogers is to drown them in water.  I take a 5-gallon bucket and add some dish soap to it.  Then I fill the bucket about half to three-quarters of the way up with warm water.  The warm water is for me, so my hands don’t freeze as they would with cold water.  The soap is to break the buoyancy so the caterpillars will not be able to “walk on water” – they will sink.

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal - Bucket

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal – Bucket

The Cut

For my tree this year, I was able to cut the branches.  All of the caterpillars were at the end of the branches and there were not too many.  I just cut the end of the branches off where the caterpillars were and dropped the entire branch in the water and pushed it under with my hands (this is where warm water helps).  If they were in the middle of a branch or on a branch that I did not want to cut, I would pull the caterpillars off by hand, but you do risk missing some caterpillars or some eggs.

The Video

Click on the picture below to view the Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal YouTube video.

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal YouTube

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal YouTube

If you enjoyed the video, please consider subscribing to our YouTube channel.  Then you can keep track of when we add new videos to our channel and it helps us by raising our ratings.

Yellow Spots on Apple Leaves

During my walks, I have noticed about half of my apple trees have yellow/brown spots on the leaves.  This is usually a condition known as cedar apple rust.  It is caused by having a plant in the cedar/juniper family close by and it having a fungus on it.  Cedar apple rust requires a plant in the cedar family and in the apple family to complete its life cycle.

Cedar Apple Rust

Cedar Apple Rust

The fungus does not usually kill the plant, but can cause a reduction or loss of fruit production.  The issue is worse on years when you have a very wet spring.  There are treatments that you can spray on the apple trees, but I don’t care to use chemicals and usually just let it run its course and it is usually better next year.

Cedar Apple Rust Resistant

There are cedar apple rust resistant plants available.  About half of my trees at the farm are resistant.  In 2017, the trees that were not resistant did not bear fruit at all because we had such a wet spring that the fungus went crazy and took too much energy from the trees to produce fruit.  The resistant trees produced just fine.


Thanks for viewing the post and watching the video titled Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal.

Help support a small business:

One way to support us is by shopping on Amazon.  If you shop at Amazon, please go through our site.  All you have to do is click the Amazon button on the menu bar at the top of every page on our web site.  That link will take you to Amazon and you then shop as you normally do.  It does NOT cost you one penny more, but it does help us out!  Thank you very much for helping to support our small business!

 

Here’s another way to support us: Great Escape Farms and Todd McCree are now on Patreon!  If you enjoy our work and want to help support us, please check out our Patreon page at: https://www.patreon.com/gef. You can support us for as little as $1.

Square Foot Gardening Update

Square Foot Gardening Update

This post and associated video provide you with a Square Foot Gardening Update.  The overall concept of square foot gardening is to put a different plant or grouping of plants in each individual square foot of garden soil.  This provides diversity of nutrients to and from the garden soil and plants, plenty of diversity for beneficial insects and confusion for pest insects.

The Garden Bed

My garden bed is made of 4×4 posts.  The posts are laid horizontally on the ground and stacked two high, giving me about a 7-inch deep bed.  Every foot I have nails put into the 4×4 posts so I can keep track of each square.  I write letters and numbers on the wood between the nails, which I will cover later in the post.  My beds are 16-foot long and 4-foot wide.  This allows me to be able to reach into the center of the bed without ever having to walk on the soil, which would pack and compress the soil.

Square Foot Gardening Update

Square Foot Gardening Update

Documentation

Each foot on the 4×4 post, lengthwise, is marked with a number from 1 to 16.  Then on the 4-foot side of the bed I have letters – A, B, C, D.  This means that I have one square that corresponds to 1A and one to 3C and one for 14D.  On a piece of paper, I make a grid and label it with 1-16 and A-D. This allows me to document what I have planted in each square and to easily find it. At the top of the sheet I write the year and bed location.  The bed location is because I have many beds and this allows me to keep them straight.

Square Foot Gardening Update Documentation

Square Foot Gardening Update Documentation

Year after Year

Each year I refer to the previous year’s drawing and make sure I mix the plants up.  What I mean by this is that I do not plant the same plant or type of plant in the same square that I planted it last year. This allows the plants to diversely give and take from the soil. If I had one type of plant in the same spot each year, it may deplete certain nutrients.  By rotating, it can replenish nutrients in the soil.

This rotating also reduces disease and pest pressure.  If eggs from a pest are laid in the soil around a plant that they like and the next year I put different plants there that the pest likely don’t like, then that makes my garden less palatable for the pest.  This also helps with diseases like tomato blight.  If the soil has tomato blight in it from last year’s plant and I put a tomato in the same soil, well, this year’s plant is very likely going to get tomato blight.  But if I put the tomatoes several feet away from last year’s location, the tomatoes have a much better chance of not getting tomato blight.

The Video

Click on the picture below to view the Square Foot Gardening Update YouTube video.

Square Foot Gardening Update YouTube

Square Foot Gardening Update YouTube

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Thanks for viewing the post and watching the video titled Square Foot Gardening Update.

Help support a small business:

One way to support us is by shopping on Amazon.  If you shop at Amazon, please go through our site.  All you have to do is click the Amazon button on the menu bar at the top of every page on our web site.  That link will take you to Amazon and you then shop as you normally do.  It does NOT cost you one penny more, but it does help us out!  Thank you very much for helping to support our small business!


Here’s another way to support us: Great Escape Farms and Todd McCree are now on Patreon!  If you enjoy our work and want to help support us, please check out our Patreon page at: https://www.patreon.com/gef. You can support us for as little as $1.

Epi086 – Large Rainwater Harvesting System Upgrade part 4, Harvesting Honeyberry

Epi086 – Large Rainwater Harvesting System Upgrade part 4, Harvesting Honeyberry

This post covers Epi086 – Large Rainwater Harvesting System Upgrade part 4, Harvesting Honeyberry, Pennsylvania Permaculture Convergence 2017, and The Week in Review.


Great Escape Farms is now on Patreon! If you enjoy our work and want to help support us, please check out our Patreon page at: https://www.patreon.com/gef You can support us for as little as $1.


Great Escape Farms Podcast

Great Escape Farms Podcast

Great Escape Podcast is an audio version of the blog posts from Great Escape Farms, Specializing in Unique Edible Plants, Permaculture Gardens, and Homesteading. The blog posts can be viewed at GreatEscapeFarms.com.

If you would like to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, you can do so by clicking on Great Escape Podcast.

Click on the icon below for other RSS feed options.
Great Escape Farms Podcast

Please help us by going to iTunes or whatever podcast feed you use and rate our program. We are a new small company and the ratings will help us become more popular on the podcast feeds.

Want to Help our Small Business Out?

Any time you are going to buy something from Amazon, please go through our site. All you have to do is click the Amazon button on the menu bar at the top of every page on our web site. That link will take you to Amazon and you then shop as you normally do. It does NOT cost you one penny more! Thank you very much for helping to support our small business!

We value your feedback and want to hear from you. Tell us what you think about Epi086 – Large Rainwater Harvesting System Upgrade part 4, Harvesting Honeyberry, Pennsylvania Permaculture Convergence 2017, and The Week in Review.

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Pennsylvania Permaculture Convergence 2017

Pennsylvania Permaculture Convergence 2017

In June, I went to the Pennsylvania Permaculture Convergence 2017 at Stonehedge Gardens in Tamaqua, PA.  This was the first event like this here, but they do plan on having several more like this in the future.  Today I’ll give you a run-down on what the Pennsylvania Permaculture Convergence 2017 was all about.

Great Escape Farms is now on Patreon!  If you enjoy our work and want to help support us, please check out our Patreon page at: https://www.patreon.com/gef. You can support us for as little as $1.

The Flow

Several times a day they had exercise classes that included Yoga and a Movement and Rhythm class.

They had a tent where many of the lectures were held, an inside area with a stage where many lectures, workshops and the evening music took place and they had several other meeting areas for the various workshops.  The site had two camping areas, one for tent camping and another for RV camping.  I stayed at a motel about 10 miles away from the event.

They had a couple of food vendors as well as one lady that was making fresh herbal drinks.  They also had a few other vendors there.  Some were selling plants and others just passing out various information.

They had an area set up for kids as well.  This area had its own tent, chaperones, and activities.  All of the kids there seemed to be having a blast.

Pennsylvania Permaculture Convergence 2017

Pennsylvania Permaculture Convergence 2017

They had music every evening and the big name was Charlie McGee from Formidable Vegetable Sound System all the way from Australia.  His songs are centered around permaculture and are great in a group environment like a permaculture convergence.

I ran into Kevin Smith, one of the coordinators, who was nice enough to give us an idea of what it took to put this event together.  Kevin stated that they do plan on doing another event in 2018 in the early June timeframe.  More information can be found at http://stonehedge.us/papc-home.html

The Workshops and Lectures

The first workshop I attended was a straw bale gardening workshop.  They described the process of and purpose of straw bale gardening and then we actually planted some plants into the straw bale.

Pennsylvania Permaculture Convergence 2017

Pennsylvania Permaculture Convergence 2017

I then attended a lecture on rain gardens and the advantages to having one.  That was followed by a lecture on composting.  Both of these lectures were given by local Master Gardeners.

The next workshop was a fermenting workshop.  We actually made homemade sour kraut and I had no idea how easy it was.  I actually ended up buying a book about fermenting vegetables.

I then attended a few lectures on growing and making herbal medicine followed by foraging for wild mushrooms.  The mushroom lecture was followed by a workshop on growing various different types of mushrooms and I ended up making an oyster mushroom kit that I was able to take home with me.

Pennsylvania Permaculture Convergence 2017

Pennsylvania Permaculture Convergence 2017

Several times a day they had plant walks with various experts that took you through the woods and pointed out the vast array of edible plants, herbs and medicinal plants.  This was one of my favorite things because I love learning about plants so much.

They had a lecture on Heirloom Seed Saving.  The presenter had a slide deck where he described some of his successes and also highlighted a few failures so we wouldn’t have to repeat his mistakes.

At the end of the second day they had a panel discussion with several of the presenters and Scott Man of the Permaculture Podcast was the moderator and curator.

Some of the items that they had that I did not attend because of scheduling conflicts include; Herb Spiral Workshop, Permaculture Principles to Radically Change Your Life, Brick Oven Fabrication Workshop, Community Driven Ecological Design, Timber Framing Workshop, Wool Spinning Wheel Demonstration, and a Metal Working Workshop.


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The Video

Check out the video below Pennsylvania Permaculture Convergence 2017.

Pennsylvania Permaculture Convergence 2017

Pennsylvania Permaculture Convergence 2017

Thanks for viewing the Pennsylvania Permaculture Convergence 2017 post.

Pennsylvania Permaculture Convergence 2017

Pennsylvania Permaculture Convergence 2017

Please give us your thoughts on Pennsylvania Permaculture Convergence 2017 by commenting below.

Great Escape Farms Podcast Epi085 – Videos Posted, Summer Travel, Summer Projects, Homestead news, and Conferences and Public Appearances.

Great Escape Farms Podcast Epi085 – Videos Posted, Summer Travel, Summer Projects, Homestead news, and Conferences and Public Appearances.

This post covers Great Escape Farms Podcast Epi085 – Videos Posted, Summer Travel, Summer Projects, Homestead news, and Conferences and Public Appearances.


Great Escape Farms is now on Patreon! If you enjoy our work and want to help support us, please check out our Patreon page at: https://www.patreon.com/gef You can support us for as little as $1.


Great Escape Farms Podcast

Great Escape Farms Podcast

Great Escape Podcast is an audio version of the blog posts from Great Escape Farms, Specializing in Unique Edible Plants, Permaculture Gardens, and Homesteading. The blog posts can be viewed at GreatEscapeFarms.com.

If you would like to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, you can do so by clicking on Great Escape Podcast.

Click on the icon below for other RSS feed options.
Great Escape Farms Podcast

Please help us by going to iTunes or whatever podcast feed you use and rate our program. We are a new small company and the ratings will help us become more popular on the podcast feeds.

Want to Help our Small Business Out?

Any time you are going to buy something from Amazon, please go through our site. All you have to do is click the Amazon button on the menu bar at the top of every page on our web site. That link will take you to Amazon and you then shop as you normally do. It does NOT cost you one penny more! Thank you very much for helping to support our small business!

We value your feedback and want to hear from you. Tell us what you think about Great Escape Farms Podcast Epi085 – Videos Posted, Summer Travel, Summer Projects, Homestead news, and Conferences and Public Appearances.

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Harvesting Honeyberry Haskap Lonicera caerulea

Harvesting Honeyberry Haskap Lonicera caerulea

Harvesting Honeyberry Haskap Lonicera caerulea provides you with an overview of honeyberry, followed by how to harvest and when and some of the uses of the wonderful edible honeysuckle.


Great Escape Farms is now on Patreon!  If you enjoy our work and want to help support us, please check out our Patreon page at: https://www.patreon.com/gef. You can support us for as little as $1.


I have four honeyberry plants in my suburban landscape. My plants are still small, but they have been producing for the last couple of years.  This is one of my favorite plants in the yard, primarily because it is the first plant in the spring to provide fruit.  To me, it signals the start of another growing and harvest season.

Harvesting Honeyberry Haskap Lonicera caerulea - Plant

Harvesting Honeyberry Haskap Lonicera caerulea – Plant

Honeyberry Background

Honeyberry plants, with a Latin name of Lonicera caerulea, are a deciduous shrub that is a member of the honeysuckle family and is also called blue honeysuckle, and haskap. They are extremely cold hardy, bears fruit, and is very long lived with a 50+ year lifespan.

How to Grow Them

The very hardy plant has some varieties that are hardy down to USDA zone 2. Honeyberries grow best in moist, well-drained soil. They may perform better in clay soils than sandy soils and do benefit from a good layer of organic mulch. The ideal pH is 6.5, but they are adapted to a pH range of 5 to 8.  It grows in sunny or shady locations. The shrub will grow from 3 to 8 feet tall, with oblong berries ½ – 1 inch or more in length and alternate leaves.

Blooming

These are some of the earliest blooming plants in my garden.  My plants bloomed in February this year, but usually the bloom in early March.  Everything has bloomed early this year due to a warm winter and warm spring.

Fruiting depends on availability of pollinators when plants are blooming. They require proximity to another unrelated honeyberry plant for pollination by bees and other insects. Most honeyberries, like apples, need a different honeyberry plant for pollination. Both plants must bloom at the same time.

Harvesting Honeyberry Haskap Lonicera caerulea - Bloom

Harvesting Honeyberry Haskap Lonicera caerulea – Bloom

Harvesting

Honeyberries produce fruit on year-old wood. To find the fruit look underneath the branches close to the older stem. Some varieties produce 10+ lbs of berries after 5 years, others produce 1-2 lbs. They bear best in sun in the North, and needs some protection from sun in the South.

Make sure berries are a dark blue color all the way through before picking for the sweetest taste.  When they are ready to pick, just give them a slight tug and they should come right off the plant.

Edible Fruit

It is said to taste like raspberry, blueberry, kiwi, cherry, or grapes, depending upon the taster. The sweet, unique flavor that is good for fresh eating or making preserves, pastries, juice, wine, jams, ice cream, yogurt, candies, and sauces.

Harvesting Honeyberry Haskap Lonicera caerulea - Fruit

Harvesting Honeyberry Haskap Lonicera caerulea – Fruit


Please Help our Small Business Out

If you shop at Amazon, please go through our site.  All you have to do is click the Amazon button on the menu bar at the top of every page on our web site.  That link will take you to Amazon and you then shop as you normally do.  It does NOT cost you one penny more, but it does help us out!  Thank you very much for helping to support our small business!


The Video

Check out the video below titled Harvesting Honeyberry Haskap Lonicera caerulea

Harvesting Honeyberry Haskap Lonicera caerulea YouTube

Harvesting Honeyberry Haskap Lonicera caerulea YouTube

Thanks for viewing the Harvesting Honeyberry Haskap Lonicera caerulea post.

Please give us your thoughts on Harvesting Honeyberry Haskap Lonicera caerulea by commenting below.

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Large Rainwater Harvesting System Upgrade part 4

Large Rainwater Harvesting System Upgrade part 4

This Large Rainwater Harvesting System Upgrade part 4 goes over the upper section of a large rainwater harvesting system.  The video goes over the Rain Diverter, Leaf Eater, and First Flush Downspout Water Diverter.


Great Escape Farms is now on Patreon!  If you enjoy our work and want to help support us, please check out our Patreon page at: https://www.patreon.com/gef. You can support us for as little as $1.


The Media

The video is a collection of various videos that I have done over the past two years.  In some videos and pictures, you will see multiple IBC Totes and in others, only a single IBC tote.  In others, you’ll see large water storage tanks.  I tried to choose the best media to get the point across.

Large Rainwater Harvesting System Upgrade part 4

Large Rainwater Harvesting System Upgrade part 4

Gutter Strainer

In the gutter system itself, we are using a gutter strainer.  It is simply a galvanized mesh that goes into the downspout up in the gutter itself and prevents large leaves and branches from getting into the plumbing.

Rain Diverter from Aquabarrel

The downspout diverter is a “Y” connection on the downspout.  In the summer, I will divert the water into the rainwater storage system. In the winter, it allows me to divert the water to a normal downspout to the ground so the water will not go in the rainwater storage system.  I need to do this up north because I go below freezing and need to empty all of the water out of the storage systems so I don’t rupture them and the pipes when I go below freezing.  People in the south that don’t get that cold will not necessarily need one of these.

Large Rainwater Harvesting System Upgrade part 4 Rain Diverter

Large Rainwater Harvesting System Upgrade part 4 Rain Diverter

Leaf Eater

The Rain Harvesting Leaf Eater is a device that filters out medium size debris that made it through the gutter strainer.  The 3″ pipe from the rain diverter just open ended dumps into the top of the leaf eater.  Any medium size debris hits the screen mesh on top of the leaf eater and just rolls off of it onto the ground.  The bottom side of the leaf eater hooks up to another 3″ PVC pipe and takes the filtered water to the next step.

Large Rainwater Harvesting System Upgrade part 4 Leaf Eater

Large Rainwater Harvesting System Upgrade part 4 Leaf Eater

First Flush Downspout Water Diverter

The last line of filtering is to filter out the pollen and any other contaminants that come off of the roof when the rain first starts.  I used a system I bought from Amazon called Rain Harvesting Downpipe First Flush Water Diverter Kit.  This is a kit that needs a 3” vertical PVC pipe to go in.  The kit consists of a “T” connection, a ball seat, a sealing ball, a screw cap, a slow release control valve and a bunch of other stuff like brackets.  The vertical PVC pipe has the “T” connection at the top with the ball seat and the screw cap and slow release control valve at the bottom of the vertical PVC pipe.  The sealing ball is free in the PVC pipe between the “T” at the top and the screw cap at the bottom allowing the ball to float in the water as the vertical PVC pipe fills up.

Large Rainwater Harvesting System Upgrade part 4 First Flush

Large Rainwater Harvesting System Upgrade part 4 First Flush

The majority of pollution, pollen, and other crap will come into the system with the first couple of gallons of rain.  The idea is that the first couple of gallons of rainwater fills a vertical PVC pipe and traps all of the pollutants in the PVC pipe. There is a ball that floats on top of the water in the vertical PVC pipe and seals the pipe off after the vertical PVC pipe fills so the pollutants and “floaties” can’t get into your IBC tote.  Once the PVC pipe is full, any additional water is diverted out the horizontal side of the T connection at the top of the PVC pipe and goes to your rainwater storage system.

The Automatic Part

The slow release control valve at the bottom of the vertical PVC pipe is what makes the system automatic.  It slowly releases water out a hole that is very small.  It might take an hour or more to fully drain the vertical PVC pipe.  Once the vertical PVC pipe is empty, it will catch the pollutants from the next rainfall.  The bottom of the vertical PVC pipe has a screw cap so you can periodically empty the pollutants out of the pipe.

There is a small filter included with the First Flush system to keep the slow release control valve from clogging, but there is an additional option that can be purchased separately called the Stainless-Steel Filter.  The other filter is still used, so you end up with two filters in the First flush system if you use this one.  Since the slow release control valve is so important for this system to operate automatically, I will be using the extra filter on all of my systems.

You use a PVC pipe in the vertical section that is long or short based on the size of your roof.  There are calculations and suggestions with the directions in the kit to help you figure out what size PVC to use.

Large Rainwater Harvesting System Upgrade part 4

Large Rainwater Harvesting System Upgrade part 4


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Links to get the Gear

Aquabarrel Downspout Diverter

 

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Large Rainwater Harvesting System Upgrade part 4

Large Rainwater Harvesting System Upgrade part 4 – Video

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