Long Live Legacy

Six weeks seems so long, but not when the time is short. From assisting a local community garden, to exploring urban gardens, vertical farming, container gardens, and finally signage, the Urban Agriculture group took quite the ride to the end of the six week long Green Corridor course. Our project ideas were ever changing and growing. This week concluded the chaos, with a presentation of our final piece; the signage. The journey of the signage was not easy either. From traditional poster-style-bulletin-boards, to banners, to stencil and lights, the signage evolved to the cedar post bird houses unit that it is now. Through it, we hope to achieve an artistic and aesthetic appeal, as well as to draw our audience to the ‘urban arts community’ – our temporary name for the site located between the ecohouses on California Ave.

The signage was originally modelled with 5 posts of differing heights to represent a hand, on top of which text and items were to be placed. From here the birdhouses concept was borrowed towards the new and final signage. The choice of using no text, but rather birdhouses was to turn heads twice, and have a symbolic meaning. Through the clustering of the birdhouses on the post, we hoped to achieve our initial goal of representing community. The presence of local birds, we hoped would make the piece interesting, eye-catching, and representative of how we felt of the land, Green Corridor, and its surrounding environment.

At the conclusion of our six weeks with Green Corridor, the Urban Agriculture group shared their experiences of frustration, satisfaction, and accomplishment. We built our project on the basis that it would be functional, with or without our presence. We hope for future students of Green Corridor to build upon (and improve) what we have initiated, allowing for this project to be an inspiration to the community for years to come.

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Turn the Tables, or the Signs!

This week the Urban Agriculture group started to contact organizations within the city about the maintenance of the garden during the summer time. On Thursday, two of our members met with the director of the Youth Connection Association. Kenny Gbadebo said he was really interested in our project and willing to help us, but the only thing was the students would not be there during the summer time and would come back in September. He is hoping to hold a summer camp in August, but gave us his contact information and encouraged us to keep in touch. Therefore, this organization could be one of our options to help the maintenance of the garden.

On the other hand, the design of the sign for the garden was still on the way. On Tuesday, after a small meeting with Rod, we decided on the title name for the sign which was “Visual Arts Community”. We wrote the brief introduction of the uses for the land between the two eco-houses, which would be posted on the sign. During Thursday’s class, we discussed our write-up and new designs with the professors. A new suggestion was made for the sign, involving the idea of making a large sign without any wording on it. The sign would act as an eye-catcher, to attract individuals to the garden. Another suggestion made was to add a rain barrel to the sign, or site. The rain barrel needed to be aesthetically appealing and also have high technical skills; therefore it could water the flowers automatically and also be sensitive to the amount of water needed by the flowers. This led us to change our direction completely from the original sign project. Consultations were made with the Wildflower Group to keep their plans for the design of the land in mind, while also fulfilling our requirements of the location and size of the sign. The tasks for the completion of the new sign were separated among group members and work was to be started immediately during the weekend. In the end, we planned to have a finalized sign for next week so that preparations for construction and assembly could be underway.

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Breaking Down the Ear

So how does one “break down” an ear? Well, take the twigs and sticks out of it of course! The Urban Agriculture group devoted about six hours to taking apart the Ear Sculpture donated by local artist Robert Wiens for last year’s Open Corridor Festival. Over the course of the year, the stick-made ear became home to bugs and critters of all sizes and was falling apart, due to the passage of time and the weather’s effects on it.

Taking it down was time consuming, as it had been secured in place with expensive tubing, wires and nails. The dumpster was filled to the top, and was in fact overflowing at the conclusion of the night. It took about 6-10 people, to take the sculpture down and free up the space around the building where it was located. The area is free again for perhaps another project in the future, but as for the ear, its only existence is in the minds of those that saw it, or the tiny twigs left scattered on the ground.

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Urban Agriculture At Its Best

Isometric view of landscape

Through out the week our group has made many preparations on how to go about preparing the garden and the main necessities needed to complete this task. We have been in steady contact with Rita Hasse on what we should be looking at and how to go about preparing the land. We have contacted the Greenhouse and processing crops Research Centre in Harrow and we are also waiting on contact information on the student from environmental studies to see if they would be able to assist us in testing the soil. Collectively as a group we have put together a final plan of what we would like to have done for the period of time we have. Within this list of things to do we have:

1. Clean up the yard space

2. Test soil

3. Start seedlings

4. Garden Plans- map of plants and locations

5. Maintenance plan and seed collection

6. Purchase order for plants and equipment

7. Use of irrigation drip lines and rain barrels.

Rod has also suggested to contact Dr. Graniero for more assistance on our project.

In all we have been consistently researching and finding more information on permaculture, water irrigation, and plants that are able to grow in our garden.

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