Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program                 



Rain Barrel Team, Pat & Fred

Florida Yards and Neighborhoods

Rain Barrel Classes

Space limited to reservations only, so call ahead.


For the past 8 years, University of Florida Multi-County Agent, Fred Burkey has been conducting classes in making and using rain barrels to utilize rain water. Come and learn how to make a barrel and recycle rain water for the benefit of the environment, your garden and to prevent storm water runoff.

One half inch of rain water will fill a 55 gallon barrel to the brim and each rain barrel, in a time of normal calendar rainfall, will save an average of 6600 gallons of water per year.

To date, Martin County Extension Office and FYN have conducted classes and now have 780 barrels in the county saving 4,000,000+ gallons of water for gardeners to use for their gardening needs and prevents this same amount of water from flushing into our Estuaries, as storm water runoff, carrying debris, pesticides, and trash.

If you are interested in having a rain barrel, call the Extension Office at 288-5654

and submit your name to be placed on our invitation list.  As you can imagine,

there is much interest in this program and barrels are not always readily available.


    Fred Burkey conducting class.                                       FYN Assistant, Pat Bonis, with barrels.

     Drilling the barrel to your specifications.                         Volunteers help with preparation.

    FYN's Pat Bonis with her travel barrel.           MG Nellie Wiggins decorates her barrel.

  Multiple hook up to save more water.                              Water used to fill fountain.

                                    Rain Barrel Lecture Taken to the Community

May 17, 2008 found "Farmer" Fred and his assistant, Pat Bonis at Tropical Ranch Botanical Gardens

where they shared their program with many willing converts to the techniques of using rain water to

water their gardens. Burkey with his homespun humor is always a crowd pleaser and this day was no


      Burkey speaks to the audience.                        Bonis explains how the barrel is made.

Rain Barrel Preparation

On February 27, 2009 FYN Assistant, Pat Bonis, sent out a call for help to the Martin County Master Gardeners.

With many Rain Barrel Classes on future agendas, it was time to get a little ahead of the work load. At 9am on

Friday morning 5 Master Gardeners came out to help.  Fifty barrels were prepared for distribution and a good

time was had by all.

Sharon Brossman and Ji Buford move barrels and remove labels.  Hand made special purpose tool.  Sharon Brossman using tool to remove lids. 


Sharon Brossman & Ji Buford clean and move the barrels. Special tool, hand-made by MG Richard Kraetsch, for taking the lids off the barrels. Sharon Brossman using the great tool.


Drill those barrels.  Pat n Pat

Left: Ji Buford, Sharon Brossman,            Pat Bonis and Pat Kahrimanian
Rt.: Pat Bonis, Ann McCormick