Sunday, June 29, 2014

Hoops for Hops

Hops grow like crazy--here are some from last year on our roof. 

Could Roots and Rays, a community garden in Pilsen, bring a hops planting under some sort of artful control? It's certainly looking like it. Bruce wrote about the beginnings of this project here.

Sam and Marc from the community garden
prepare for a good day's work

These structures are massive. The group has one hoop finished, a second almost there.
After first bending the tubing by hand in a jig, it was heated and bent in spots with an oxy/acetylene torch to form a perfect 10-foot circle. 

Bruce's metal shop,
where the work is being done

Pause to say hello
to the hens, happy for greens

Hoop feet

Rebar will be welded to the footings and the paired hoops moved to the garden. Then the rebar will be sunk into concrete to anchor the trellis to the ground.

Rebar positioned in footing

The first piece of tubing Sam and Marc bent on the jig was misshapen. Practice makes perfect.

Moving the bent piece
 from underneath a finished paired hoop

This finished hoop
will be attached to two others...

...with a long arm

The slotted tabs that, when welded on one side to the paired hoop and the other to the long arm shown above, will allow each of the three paired hoops to be bolted together.

...and look something like this

Beautifully done. Hours of work/play learning some basic metal fabrication techniques will surely pay off in a perfect marriage of structure, form, and growth. (And ultimately homebrew.)

Late pic from Bruce at end of Saturday...

Look at the perfect arc,
the car suggesting the project's scale

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Dirt Shop: A Session With Nancy Klehm

Our friend Nancy Klehm is conducting a seminar that might be of interest to our blog readers in Chicago.

From her PR Dept:

DIRT SHOP! - a hands-on composting intensive w/ Nance Klehm
Join us to learn how to re-build your compost pile!

Nancy will review basic composting principles and then dive deeper into the why and how as well as the differences between mesophilic and thermophilic compost technologies.

We will examine, trouble shoot and rebuild two existing compost piles using carbon and nitrogen sources from on-site. We will also learn how to finish off and cure compost so that it is a stable material you can use directly or in compost tea applications.

Please bring your questions, your gloves and pruning shears and if you have one, a sample of your garden’s or back yard’s compost pile.

where? Earnest Earth 2917 West Armitage
when? 4-7pm
how much? $25

Register here.

Great interview of Nancy here. Also, that's where I found the photo at the top of the post. She's an amazing person/resource - sign up!