A Letter: Here to Help You Hunker Down

BlueBarrel Logo - Earth Day

March 19, 2020:

Dear Community,

We find ourselves in a unique moment in history. My county has given “shelter in place” orders. Schools are closed through April 7th and we’re being told to expect longer. Store shelves are sparse with people stocking up for an extended stay at home. Perhaps you are experiencing something similar in your town, or are about to. 

We are being called home, to hunker down, to turn inward and care for ourselves and the ones closest to us.

As we work to cultivate calm amidst chaos, here is what comes up in BlueBarrel’s world:

Due to our online mail-order business model (and local-to-you barrel supplier network) I am pleased to announce we are still operating at full capacity, though I am humbled by the reality that health and supply chains are fragile and our situation may change at any time. 

While we are still able, perhaps we can offer a little help and a few suggestions as we navigate this situation together.

1. Plant your garden: I struggled with what to do, anticipating 3 weeks (and maybe more) of shelter in place. Buy more canned food? I did… and then I remembered to plant my garden. As I stocked up on canned veggies (because the frozen ones were sold out), I realized if I could just ground myself enough to do what I usually do this time of year, I could prep the soil and plant the food that will feed my family for months to come. We are now expecting a variety of fresh vegetables starting as early as next month (photo included below). 

2. Keep water on hand: It’s important to note stored rainwater is not potable without treatment. That said, stored water is essential during an emergency. Being prepared with a variety of water treatment methods can expand your options and offer peace of mind. I keep standard camping gear around for these “just in case” moments: carbon-filter backpacking pump; iodine tablets; bleach. We don’t expect our municipal water supply to be impacted, but it’s possible if crisis mounts. Ideally, we’ll continue drinking tap water, and use the rainwater—fresh and alive—to water the garden that feeds us.

What’s up with BlueBarrel? At the time of this writing, BlueBarrel is still fully operational, carrying used barrels made of food-grade plastic, and a full range of rainwater harvesting and gravity-fed drip irrigation gear. Our web and customer service teams work remotely (always); our fulfillment center is locally-owned and still shipping orders expeditiously; and our nationwide network of participating barrel suppliers is at the ready to supply you with high-quality used HDPE drums (barrel availability varies by region). Please note, our barrel suppliers all expect to honor social distancing at this time. Once you have your barrel voucher, you can make arrangements for pickup or delivery, sans handshake!

We have enough inventory on the shelf to get us through a “normal” season in business. Will this be a normal season? Will our supply chain be disrupted in the near future? Yet to be seen, but for the time being, we have what you need to get started with rainwater harvesting and gravity-fed irrigation.

On behalf of Team BlueBarrel, I wish you health and safety; solidarity in solitude; encouragement to get spring gardens planted; and peace accompanying an unexpected opportunity to ground, center, and be home. 

In other words: wishing you well,

Jesse Savou,


BlueBarrel is your one-stop-shop for used barrels, DIY rain barrel systems, and gravity-fed irrigation.

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