Once upon a time, I spent a fortune for a Shade Canopy so I could set up at fairs and arts & crafts events for my sewing and embroidery business. It was a good shade canopy and served me well. Then one weekend, I went out to an event in early March. It was cold and windy. The children and I sat in our truck, no customers had come for the hour that we were there. We were FROZEN and miserable but we stayed because the director of the event promised a big turn out as soon as the sun came out. (It was 8 a.m.) Final straw happened when a huge gust of wind flipped up my Shade Canopy, spun it around in the air, and slammed it on the truck next to me. It bent one of it's legs to the point that it could not be used anymore. Luckily, the vendors in the truck it landed on were very understanding and helped me wrangle it back together enough to pack and and transport home. We were defeated...
Since that day, I have tried to come up with ideas to use my 'slightly bent legged' canopy. It cost a small fortune and was in really good shape otherwise. Over the summer, we popped it up to shade our sugar snap peas from the harsh afternoon sun. It was a little off looking; it does not open fully because the bent portion is above the side post that pops it into place. It worked though.
This winter, the tarp that goes over the open end of the chicken coop kept lifting up and allowing wind into the chicken coop. They have a large nesting area that is completely enclosed, but, I still wanted to keep the cold wind out. One day, Zoey helped me lift the canopy up and over the coop. The legs of the canopy fit perfectly around the screened in coop, holding the tarp nice and snug. People that have come over have laughed at me, but I do not care cause that sucker WORKS! :D
A few weeks back, it rained. Suddenly the canopy's tarp was weighted down with all of the rain it had collected. It also became more comical looking. BUT, it also gave Zoey an idea!
She came running in one cold morning and said, "Mom, I need some empty gallons!"
"I'm going to collect the rain!"
I followed her outside with a few empty water jugs to see what her excitement was about. The top of the shade canopy had collected the rain from the night before and formed a large pouch. She had already pulled out a big chunk of ice that had formed on top of it. Then she explained she wanted to fill up our empty water jugs with the rain water so we could water our house plants with it. Zoey said, "It will save us money!" Smart kid.
Although the water was near freezing temps, she filled all 5 gallons up by hand. (You have to love her working attire of pajama bottoms and Croc shoes! It's a homeschool thing :D )
She has suggested we put in a water catchment system. I would love to water our summer garden with the rain from winter and spring, but right now it is just not possible. Our house does not have gutters, and our only source of catching rain is my shade canopy. I am very happy to have finally found a good use for it! Tonight it is raining. We have saved up TONS of empty gallon jugs to use.
So you have an easy and inexpensive water catchment system? We would love to see what others are doing!
Disclosure: I am Amazon Affiliate and may receive a small compensation for including links on my blog. Buying through my links is not necessary, just appreciated. Amazon does not charge extra for linked items recommended by their affiliates. I only recommend products that I use and trust OR plan on using in the future. Please buy responsibly and do your own product research before buying anything online.