Pig For Victory No.24: Protect Water Sources

Winter is coming and it's important that we protect our water sources from the ingress of ice. Most taps blow or rupture during winter as they are left open to the elements. Though our tap at Pig Row can be turned off inside the house we still lag the outside, this can be done effectively with the bottom of a pop bottle, some bubble wrap or in this case styrofoam sheet found in parcel packing (the thin stuff that folds).

How to make your own tap cover for pence rather than pounds

With a pair of sharp scissors cut a large pop into two, you will need the bottom half of the bottle (see below). You will need to cut a rectangular wedge out of the bottle so that it will easily slide over the tap pipe and the bottom of the bottle (now the top) will rest on the tap itself. Remove it.

How to make a tap cover out of a soda/pop bottle

Now fold your sheet of bubble wrap or styrofoam to the depth of the tap, and wrap around as it it was sellotape. Slide the bottle over the wrapping, making sure there is a snug fit and tucking in any of the wrapping (see image at the top of the post for the final look). The cost of our bottle tap protector came to 39p for the bottle of coke (which we drank) and the styrofoam was free as it came in a parcel. This is a saving of over £5 from the run of the mill mid price tap covers. Remember to make do and mend.

If you're worrying about your water butts splitting over the winter months try this old tip: drop a tennis ball into the butt. The idea behind it that the tennis ball floats and when the water freezes the expanding ice will be absorbed by the ball and not the walls of the water butt.

You can view more on our #wartimegarden plans on twitter and through the following links:

Wartime Garden: Harvest Festival

Digging for Victory: The Guardian Blog