Herbs and Flowers and Holes, oh, my.

Skipping our group meeting this morning (as it was unnecessary), the Greening team today ran out to the field immediately and began digging, shoveling, planting and raking! We completed another three gardens today, bringing our total up to a whopping six, with a seventh prepped and ready for soil, should we ever receive it (we’re still waiting on word from the University about the soil they said they would donate).

We also planted some garlic here and there.

We also planted some Garlic

The boys did a fantastic job of cleaning up the back yard. The paved area is much more presentable than it was, even despite the weeds back there. They also broke up a few more of the pallets laying back there.

Who reads this, anyway?

The backyard: the "after" photo.

Other than that, some of our group spent some time helping the Earthship group fill in the hole at the back of the lot. They worked really hard with the help of a few others and filled in the hole in record time! Good job, guys!

HOLE!

Before leaving for the day, we discussed the possibility of renting a Uhaul to move the ton of rocks donated to us to the Ecohouse. Some of us are rather excited by the prospect of so many large rocks and look forward to finally getting them there.

Water them before you go!

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Day 3: Drawing Weeds

Another fun-filled day for the Greening team, but despite the difficulties faced with both our projects, we remain optimistic about the future.

Today we began by having a sit down with Noel and one of the lovely guys from the engineering team regarding the rooftop gardens. There are still many issues with it, including liability and plant viability, not to mention the irrigation system atop Mac Hall being dysfunctional. We hope to talk to the administration some more and hopefully make some headway about getting up there to have a look for ourselves to see what we’re working with. We discussed that maybe Virgina Creepers are the way to go.

From there we proceeded to our Eco House project, which is seeing slightly more (but not by much) fruition. We spent the a couple of hours discussing design ideas and drawing up possible plans. Our group came up with a lot of ideas today in terms of placement, design, and types of plants we may want to look into, including indigenous ones, in the interest of creating a low- to no-maintenance garden (turns out zero- maintenance gardens are impossible. Huh.).  We did some research into the San Francisco Victory Gardens and all agreed that we like the idea of a peastone or woodchip area with small or medium sized planters (made with sandbags, like in the victory gardens, possibly tiered) for our flowers,  incorporating some tall hardy grasses and sunflowers into the design, maybe even bamboo.

Serious work.

Planning

This is what we came up with... we're fantastic.

Ideas on paper

Later, the group went out onto the lot and began weeding. In a relatively short amount of time, we actually managed to clear about one-third of the plot of weeds, as well as relocating the ill-located composter to behind the house. We had a good time being out on the field and enjoyed seeing the snails, mushrooms and other creatures hiding in the soil.

Serious fieldwork for all.

Hard at work.

Pepe, our first little snail buddy, shrooms, and weed.

Pepe, our new snail friend, amongst some mushrooms and weeds on a clump of dirt.

Watch out for the spiky ones.

Just a fraction of what we pulled up today. We also broke both of the spades. Those weeds have tough roots!

In the next class, armed with a fresh variety of designs, we hope to clear the rest of the weeds, and dig a trench near the back of the plot to separate our designed area from the naturalized one we planned for the back. We also hope to plant some of the flowers donated to us, so that our progress can be seen.

Welcome to the Eco House, this is a weed we dug up. Enter at own risk.

Yes, that's a weed we dug up. Yes, it's half her size.

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Planning, Brainstorming, & Sketching

On Tuesday, September 21th, our group, the sign team,  we got together to design a sign for the Ecohouse and the lot beside it, and created several mock designs.

Additionally, the sketches were designed by each group member in order to create an outline or a basis of where should we start (such as the one above).

Then, on Thursday, September 23th, Christina Shen and Sarah Robbins created three designs each in Photoshop as a basic layout to start with.

We combined the ideas into a slideshow and presented it to the class, to gain some insight and opinions. Students suggested the location of the sign and the possible words and layout ideas we could . Everyone also suggested ideas how to combine all the ideas into one sign.

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ECOHOUSE ASSESSMENT

During the first day of classes for the fall 2010 semester, students enrolled in Green Corridor travelled as a group to visit the EcoHouse in effort to complete a site analysis. After recent complains received from faculty members and neighbours in reference to the current state of the EcoHouse, this area has been designated as high priority for the following semester. The current state of the EcoHouse indicates that a lot of work needs to be done to restore the curb appeal that once existed. Before the initial labour work began, an onsite Ecohouse restoration team was formed by students enrolled in the Green Corridor course. Team Restoration list of things needed to be completed includes: fix/replace gate, power wash house, continuous lawn raking, wash windows, fill cracks in sidewalk, trim trees, picks rocks from compound, weed removal from driveway/grass, fence posts, gutter inspection, dump of furniture in backyard, planting flowers/trees, planting fence, edge gardens, cutting lawn, take out compost, spreading out dirt in compound, repair and filling bird feeder and contact the Faculty for permission purposes. Team Restoration will be working around the clock in effort to revive our beloved EcoHouse.

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