Monday, October 24, 2011

Growing a Garden: Progress at Orchard & Vine

Over the past month we took on the task of building the last big and highly anticipated feature at the Orchard & Vine Community Garden.  The original design I drafted in the May 2010 called for a covered "Garden Pavilion" to serve as a gathering space for potlucks, workshops and meetings and a refuge from the rain and hot sun.  We discovered just how important this feature was this past year.  Our spring potluck ended abruptly with a passing shower and soggy food and our summer bake sale fundraiser occurred on a hot sunny day with the volunteer hosts hovering in a tiny sliver of shade with platters of melting frosted cupcakes.

With the busy summer growing season over, we set to work on building the Garden Pavilion before the heavy autumn rains.  Over the course of several weekends we got the final specs completed, materials approved and purchased, volunteers organized, and got it done.  We drafted a simple shed roof design to maximize our limited funds and minimize construction complexity.  We couldn't be more pleased with the results.

Breaking tough ground

Anders digging in

Moving the heavy posts

Setting in the posts

Bolting in the beams

Attaching the rafters

Installing the roofing material

Almost done

All done

Ready for a potluck!

Our next goal is to install a gutter and rainwater collection system to allow gardeners to water their plots while the city water is shut off from November to May and to be a model for sustainability.  Plus, natural rainwater is better for plants.  We're out of construction funds, so we spent this weekend working on our first grant proposal.  

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