February 12, 2009

Michele Brody: Kristina Waller

Glass Ideas

These are my initial ideas for solving the aerator problem. If the vessel was made of two tubes that sat within each other, the aerator could be positioned in between the inner and outer tubes.

Another idea might be a Klein bottle.

February 11, 2009

Michele Brody: Mike Droske

Seed post design alternative:

Since the seeds will only germinate within the outermost layer of soil, I propose a design with only 1/2" of soil around a 3" pvc pipe.

Michele Brody: Briana Morrison

FYI, and so I don't forget-- in the future, using condensate pumps may be a great idea for permanent installations! This one from Home Depot collects condensate from energy-efficient appliances like air conditioning units:
I found deep well submersible pumps on the Lowe's website that are around $5.00...but I can't tell if they'd work for us. Also, they aren't available at the Lowe's in Bryan. You can check it out here.

February 10, 2009

Michele Brody: Katie Smither

Howdy!  Well I don't know how many of you keep up with design/art/architecture blogs, but MoCo Loco featured a piece by Moss Sund Architects that offers a discussion about vertical growing and seed posts.  Check it out and enjoy your week!

February 9, 2009

Michele Brody - Bradley Angell

INDIVIDUAL SEED POST PROTOTYPE (Images and Skematic Description)

Image 1 - Scale and Skematic Design

Image 2 - Skematic Design of Water Distribution Coil

Image 3 - Water Distribution Coil w/ Mesh Overlay

Image 4 - Entire Water Distribution System w/ Gravity-based Pressurizing System

With this, I was hoping to create a natural system that required no electricity and designed for an urban environment where there are tall structures (over 35' tall) and ample rainfall (New York, Houston, Dallas or the like).

Based on Michele's earlier models, this system could hopefully improve with a coil system that is intended to evenly distribute water with a gravity-based pressurized system. Water distribution is carried out in a parellel rather than linear fashion, hopefully allowing for better growth over the entire seed post from top to bottom.

Gravity is supplied by having a bucket hoisted up multiple floors (preferrably 30 - 50 feet high) with a normal garden water hose linking between the latched bucket at a window sill or scupper down to the street side seed post...

Water will be be caught in the bucket at the bottom and is not intended to be recycled up. Hopefully, with this system, the water will irrigate slow enough to allow enough evaporation and absorption before excess water evacuates the system at such quantities that pose a problem.

Mitchele Brody : Charul Mehta

Types of Seed Posts as per decided in today's meeting.

Type: Permanent
- exterior = hardware cloth + lace
- middle = PVC
- growing medium = grow mix
- irrigation = multiple drip emitters spaghetti
- position = in group

Type: Temporary
- exterior = hardware cloth + lace
- middle = central inline drip pipe
- position = in group

Type: Temporary, stacked shelves
- exterior = hardware cloth + lace
- irrigation = multiple drip emitters spaghetti
- position = in group

Type: Temporary, Low-tech(Chris)
- exterior = lace
- middle = PVC
- growing medium = peat moss
- position = individual

Type: Temporary
- exterior = lace
- middle = Reed or PVC , capped at the bottom
- irrigation = pressure regulated emitters
- position = individual

Type: Temporary, (Bradley Angell)
- exterior = hardware cloth + lace
- middle = PVC
- position = individual
(above information as per his post on the blog.)

Charul Mehta

Michele Brody: Katie Smither

Sunday night with a tape measure.  We recorded dimensions for the seed post installation and a list of needed supplies has been formed.  For reference, the following diagrams and images include the ideas and measurements acquired.  If you need a number not given or see an error, please feel free to post the correction.

I'm hoping to get started on learning to make paper by hand.  If all goes well I can make some quickly and begin investigating with ways to preserve it.  I'm also researching natural ways to avoid mold or quarantine it in some way.  I need to make the tools to make the paper first though, hopefully I can update on this soon.  

Katie Smither

Michele Brody: Bradley Angell


I know you are meeting tonight (Monday, Feb 09), but I wanted to let you (and the class) know that I am working on a prototype seed post that has the following attributes from your Chinese Menu:

Exterior - N/A (will need help with this)
Inner Structure - PVC
Watering - PVC drilled with holes/From stored rain water
Growing Medium - N/A (will need help on this)
Seeds - N/A (will need help on this)
Hanging Hardware - N/A (will need help on this)
Reservior - Simple Catch Basin
Individual or Series - Stand Alone Seed Post

If you can at this meeting today, please mention I am putting one together as we speak with donated and a few bought materials... I will start posting the results of my attempts reflecting our class work on the blog...

Meeting with Prof .Mathew (horticulture dept)

Michele Brody :Charul Mehta

Here is a synopsis and some options that we narrowed down on after what we discussed with Prof Mathew Kent from the Horticulture department.

Prof. Mathew suggested the following seeds/plants for our project-
- raddish (seeds)
- spinach (seeds)
- portulaca
- snap dragons (grown using cut parts of an existing plant)
- dandelions
- ice plants.
Out of these, he's given us a couple of packets of seeds that we could use.
He also suggested using the brand " Johnny's Selected Seeds" to buy seeds from.

In terms of grasses,Buffalo grass and Rye grass are the two final options.

After talking to him, we narrowed down on the growing medium we would be using for the seed posts -
- coconut coir.
- perlite
- peat moss( -2/3 types)
- pumice -(if we can get hold of a supply source)
- vermiculite(maybe)
note - peat and coconut coir require wetting agents as they tend to get dry very easily.
Also, he said mixing peat and perlite is not a good idea because it would change the acidity levels of the growing media.
These growing mediums could be acquired for our project if inter-departmental purchasing is possible. We need check with our department on this.

He explained the principle that algae grow on the plant/growing seed whenever it is exposed to sunlight. So, he suggested using black plastic / landscape cloth / light plastic drapes or films to cover the soil so that no light reaches the seed during germination.

-for green growth(vegetables etc) = 1st no should be higher = higher amt of Nitrogen in the mix
-for flowers = 1st no should be less.

If you require -
- a constant feed or fertigation then you use 100parts per million of nitrogen
- intermittent feed the you use 400 parts per million of nitrogen
in your mix.

Talking about vertical plant systems and hydroponics he suggested some concepts which could be used
- green roof technology
- sedum
- filtering: applying the concept used in aquariums
- aerostones
- water recycling: applying rain water recycling concepts.
He suggested an Irrigation Company which gives excellent inputs on problems related to irrigation.He is to give us the name and contact details for the company.

That's pretty much of what we discussed with the professor on Sunday at La Bodega and at the Horticulture herbarium.

materials - home depot + lowe's

Some materials that we looked at

Home Depot
  • reservoir pots
- galvansied tubs ($20.00)

  • seeds
- bermuda grass( 5LB $18.94[vigoro])

  • tools
- hose clamps ( $1.85)
- hardware cloth : 1/2" 3' x 5' for $9.88
- dripper/drip emitters
adjustable( 0-10 psi) $5.47 each
constant 1 gph ( 15-55psi) $5.47 for about 6 to 10 nos.
- water timer from vigoro $39.95
- moisture sensor $37.48
- irrigation timer (battery operated) $49.99

algaecide : $9.97
reed fence: 1.83m x 4.57m $20.97

February 8, 2009

Michele Brody: Mike Droske

Seed Tape

Matt had another really good idea about how to hold the very small seeds near the surface: seed tape. He suggested using masking tape, sticky side out, to hold the seeds to the post, and then cover them with soil and screen/lace.

I did a little googling and found a set of diy instructions for making seed tape out of toilet paper strips and flour water glue:


We could possibly just roll the post with toilet paper, glue the seeds to the rolled post, and then cover with soil and screen?


Michele Brody: help with geothermal spirit. Miguel Zarate

Help with the geothermal spirit: portable warmer powered by batteries?

Hi all,

I need some suggestions regarding the geothermal combustion of the spirit of earth. I am trying to use dry ice for making artificial smoke, but I have encountered some problems and I would like to hear your thought on them:

So far I have only been able to make the fog last for about 30 minutes. It lasts as long as the water inside the container remains warm. In other words, once the dry ice cools the water, there is no more fog. To fix this, I need to find a way to warm the water in a portable, safe, and economic way. The water does not need to be hot, just warm. The problem is, all the water heaters that I know are too big for the head dress. They also consume large amounts of energy and thus require a big heavy battery to power them on (i.e a car battery)

Question: does anyone know of a portable warmer powered by batteries?


Michele Brody: Seed Posts Options

You can download the pdf on options here

Michele Brody: Seed Posts List

I have sent an email to everyone listing a bunch of the Seed Posts options.

It was easiest for me to just make a list for everyone to pick and choose from.

Please use Chris's choice as a sample of how to put together the various options to try out a type of post to see how it works, Mainly I would really like to have at least one permanent version and a few temporary versions. There should be at least two that stand alone, Chris' and another with an individual recycling reservoir, the rest can be hooked up together into the closed recycling water system. One thing I forgot to list is to find shade growing seeds, since the bridge will not get as much direct sun.

Chris has decided to do a stand alone post with found materials that is just watered by letting the water flow down a central PVC core with the holes drilled out and filled with a wicking material, covered in the lace that I brought and will allow the water to just flow out into one of the planters already positioned on the bridge, he still needs to decide what growing medium and seeds to use