Must go Up! Building Structures

If you grow a vegetable garden, you will need structures. Structures connect earth to sky, root to sun, water to light. Let’s face it, very few of us have enough space to grow rambling vines and sprawling plants. So you must go up! Some of our favorite vegetables are vines and climbers- tomatoes, beans, peas, cucumbers, melons.

Arbors, trellises, pea fences, tomato cages, potato towers are all the structures that build height in a garden. This Seed Savers website shows some low cost and simple ways to trellis common vegetables in the garden. Last weekend, our Third Grade families built some fine structures. We used old and new supplies, some donated and some found.

Sourcing sustainable materials for structures is a constant dilemma. Permaculture models suggest growing bamboo in your space as a renewable source of long straight poles. Choosing the right bamboo is tricky and in Oregon, bamboo can be pesky. I am a fan of gorgeous, chocolaty thick culms of Black Bamboo. Consider keeping it in a large pot or sticking with clumping bamboo.

Another inexpensive source for structures is a versatile material called remesh found in your neighborhood home building store. Similar to hog wire, I found 7 by 4 foot sheets for $7 as an economical tomato cage, A-frame or bendable arch.

Stay tuned to see our structures in action as the growing season gets under way...

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Gravel on the Fitness Trail

Thanks to our First Grade Work Party, we patched the trouble spots where runners were ankle deep in puddles. The rainy work day was perfect for searching out those spots. We had many helping hands, big and small, on this project. 

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