If you've ever been interested in aquaponic gardening, you're in luck! Check out this free step-by-step aquaponics guide.
Those wizened-looking roots of yours haven't gone bad: they're just dehydrated. You can revive them easily by immersing them in water for a few days.
Getting your rain barrel up now means "free" water for any possible early hot days, or sudden drought. It's easy to make your own rain barrel from a plain, plastic garbage can with a domed lid.
Without drinking water, we'd die of dehydration in 3-4 days, and just about all life on this planet—from insects to elephants—needs this glorious wet stuff to survive.