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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Oh, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun…

Today was a most productive day for us. We started off by getting together and while some of us were finalizing a design plan for the cell garden, others were making phone calls for more donations, and one person went to meet with the Media team about getting a new sign for the post in front of the Ecohouse. A few different options were discussed with both groups, and we will reconvine next day to discuss their viability.
We managed to get 10 bags of soil donated to us before we even left Lebel to go work on site, and one of members (along with a certain helpul person from the Engineering group) took off to go pick it up right away!
After a talk with Justin about our midterm, we took off for the Ecohouse, and continued our productive day. We managed to get quite a bit done, as we finished two whole planters, bringing our total up to 3. Thank goodness the weather is finally co-operating!
We cleared the areas of woodchips and cardboard, put down fresh cardboard, and made holes in it for our flowers. We planted more Marigolds and a few Black-Eyed Susans in these new planters, and covered the area with topsoil and peatmoss, and watered.

Pretty Marigolds

Clearing area for the second plot

Planting the second garden

Watering what we planted last day

The Marigolds we planted previously around the signpost are already looking taller, and some of the old wildflowers are growing back as well! We greatly hope we can continue working at this pace, and although the lack of enough tools for the whole team is a hinderance, we make the best of it by working alternately and everyone taking initiative to be productive in their tool-less time.
As this day ends, we still wait for more donations of flowers and soil, and are ever-hopeful for the days ahead.

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Mudplay

May 25, 2010
Today our group did the presentation. In the presentation we talked about the goals for our project. The feedback we received from Noel was to remove the weeds even more by using a Bobcat. Remove wood chips from the ground, try to get permission for an osprey post. Also, have other members of the class to help us out one of the afternoons.

After the class we all went to the the eco house to dig holes and plant in them. While we were doing it we had individuals from the earth ship project show up to unload their materials onto the other half of the plot. There were some other students that came to help our planting efforts, but were unable to do much because of the inclement weather.

Two of the group members are digging the trench for the grass partition. Here two of the members are planting the border for the sign.

some of the plants donated to us.

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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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Day 2: Problems with the rooftops, and evaluating the Eco House

Over the weekend one of our team members, Ashley, initiated conversation among people of interest in facility services in order to get some head way on our Green Roof project. Ultimately, this lead to the group being directed to John Rigor, who should be in contact over the next few days. Although, some of the people contacted remain supportive of the project at hand, others did not hesitate to remind us of the obstacles ahead: conflict with unions, telephone towers atop of Laurier, liability issues, and problems with the previous irrigation system atop MacDonald Hall.

Members from the group also met on Monday at the Eco-house to view the state of the exterior of the project. Although, we were forewarned of the lack of up keep at the site, we still managed to dredge up some disappointment for what we found. We were unable to decide a realistic goal for this project. Ashley was able to allocate a tentative donation from St. Thomas of Villanova of six to eight flats of flowers that may include petunias, salvia, geraniums, and begonias. The garden of the Eco-House still needs to be weeded, stripped of wood chips, leveled and the soil needs to be turned before planting could even begin, these are a few objective for the team’s action plan for Tuesday’s work period.

Failed Rhubarb and weeds.

This needs to be cleaned up.

On tuesday, the groups moved around a little bit due to the introduction of  Dr. Jennifer Willet’s Earthship project, and we lost 2 members, but gained 4 more. We welcome Jyotsna, Harpreet, Evan, and Natalie to our group.

Despite the rainy weather, we managed a trip out to the Eco House site as a group this time to make sure everyone had a chance to see what we are working with and to put everyone on the same page. We had to do a major re-evaluation of our project and began to look at perhaps a zen/rock-garden based type of space. We saw this as an acceptable and interesting solution for the space because it would be low-maintainence, although we run into the problem of functionality for that space, and again, had to re-evaluate.

This is what we're working with.

The Lot

At this writing, all plans are tentative and the idea of cleaning up the area and donating it to the community garden has been tossed around. It’s back to the drawing board for us, once again. Our goal for before next class is to come up with as many different ideas for the space as we can.

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The Earthship Launch!

Our project aims to lay the ground work for the construction of an EarthShip. An Earthship, as described on Earthship.com, is the most versatile and economical building design in the world. Earthships can be built in any part of the world, in any climate and still provide the conditions needed to sustain life. The building method is called Biotecture. There is possibility of a greenhouse as a static structure becoming a living structure; a conceptually reciprocal relationship between structure and occupant. We have an eclectic mix of skills pertaining to group objectives; knowledge of: architecture, environmental studies, computer sciences, community activists, art and communications studies. We’ve consulted the previous team’s legacy report and drew up a list of contacts of local greenhouses and suppliers pertaining to our project; our members are working on contacting these for Thursday. Each member of our group has elected to sketch design concepts for the structure we are proposing. One of our group members has volunteered to speak with the head of the architecture department and get a head start on the site analysis.

Earthship YouTube Channel

The Earthship architecture group has a brainstorming session!

The Earthship group discusses design concepts for legacy project!

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Day1: Planter project on residence buildings and eco-house wildflower garden

Today our group got things started on our projects allocated to us. We have been assigned two projects from the Greening,Growing and Earthship Architecture. One project is to get the rooftops of the two residence buildings green. In order to achieve our goal we would have to get permission from the University of Windsor’s Vice President of Finance Steven Willox to carry on with our project. We would achieve that by going to see him at his office on Monday and persuade him if needed. We would assure him that the expenses that would occur to renew this project would be covered by Green Corridor by fund-raising and it would only benefit the university in many ways; the image of the university would become better, the buildings would have protection from extreme weather due to insulation etc. Over the weekend every group member would go over the archives for the projects and would gain the knowledge required to achieve the final goals. Also we would have to go to the residence management and ask them for access to the roof tops. We would survey the roof tops and later have a brainstorming session to come up with ideas.

For the eco-house project we need to read the archives and survey it in order to get an idea what it is all about and we plan to do it sometime before our next class on tuesday, we would contact each other and come up with a suitable time for the survey and would come up with ideas for it next week.

Group members:

Muhammad Isa Khan Niazi

Fanny Lai

Laura Gentili

Marcy Boles

Rain Farooqi

Ashley Bujold

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It’s all (slowly) falling into place. . .

Greetings from the Lot team!

After a few weeks of throwing around different ideas for the lot, we had narrowed our choices to these three contenders:

1)building a permanent bbq pit

2)Creating a sculpture garden

3) creating a place for students to go between classes

After much consideration and deliberation we have decided that the idea which would most benefit the university and the Green Corridor course would be to have a sculpture garden on main campus.

Taking into consideration some of the amazing past works which have been created with some amazing artists and the students of the Green Corridor, we feel it was unfortunate that once the pieces were removed from Huron Church, they were removed from public viewing entirely.

If the University were to have a sculpture garden on their main campus then we would have a place to show off not only these works, but the works of our students and other local artists.

Since the Lebel building is located apart from the rest of main campus many students are completely unaware of what happens here. Having these works on display will help promote Green Corridor and will bring a wider variety of students to the course.

Photo Credit International Metropolis.com

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Greetings from the Ecohouse Team!

Window Farm from the inside of the Ecohouse

Greetings from the Ecohouse Team! This semester we will be working on three projects centered around the Ecohouse.

The first project is to create something we can place in the window of the Ecohouse.  Thus far in the semester the Window team has been hard at work coming up with ideas as well as reading past legacy reports in regards to the window farm which is currently holding the place of honor in the front room of the house.

Ideas for this project include:

Continuing to work with the Window farm project

A water wall

A waterfall

Hard at work designing a drainage system for the Green House

The Green House Team is working closely with Jennifer Willet on creating a green house which will be built on the southern facing wall of the Ecohouse.  They have been hard at work reading previous legacy reports and coming up with design ideas to please everyone involved.

Another member of the group has discovered an interesting way to make your trip to the curb on recycling day a bit easier. Justin has found designs for a pop can air heater, and the team is creating a model of this idea to test it’s possible use with the green house.

The Lot Team is back in action. All three members have decided to come back after last year’s success and continue with the work to be done. Currently they are working hard to create a design for the lot which will benefit all the students at the University, by creating a place to hang out in the spring and fall.

Possible ideas for the lot include:

A brick bbq

Swings to sit on

A seating area

A garden

A covered area

A sculpture garden

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LAYING THE MULCH AND CARDBOARD

  

November 8th, 2010, marked the first day, Team EcoHouse began the process of laying the cardboard and mulch. Lead by Elaina and Jodi, the group plans to soak the land surrounding the EcoHouse until it is pooling, and then laying down the cardboard to soak up the water. The cardboard has to be placed, writing side up, in a single layer. After placing the cardboard down to the ground, additional water is sprayed on top of the card board until it is totally soaked. Finally, 2-3 inches of mulch will be placed on top of the cardboards.

 

The process of wetting the soil and the cardboard is to saturate the soil. The moisture in the soil and cardboard combined with heat from the soil raises the temperature of the soil, thus killing the weeds under the cardboard and in the soil.

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