Time to begin. In early September I approached Jonathan Youtt at the PLACE for sustainable living in Oakland, Ca. to ask if he had a space for us to test our system out. Our Berkeley project was being delayed and I wanted to keep TJ busy and use the extra time to learn more about the design we were to install on the 16 roofs. Alot has been tweaked on paper and it was time to begin testing it out. We also switched blenders and wanted to start growing in the new medium we had developed.
The space that we were given was the roof of two shipping containers that were 20' long. The space ended up being 276 square feet, after we built the deck and parapet to contain the soil. There was alot of ideas that had been floating around in my head over the last 6 months on how to make a more productive lightweight and affordable system, getting the opportunity to do a test run at PLACE
has been invaluable.
Built up the area on top of the containers, 10 feet up
3/4" plywood deck with 2x12 sides
Once we got the deck built and set we installed the irrigation system which included a mazzi injector for fertigation trials which will help us understand which driptape and irrigation lines work the best.
lots of parts
irrigation and plumbing housed within a box seat
Next step was to line the area using a poly re-enforced 40 mill liner with protection mat. We used a drainboard on half the deck to see what the difference will be like with and without. Each side will have wicking capabilities just a matter if the drainboard cups will retain more moisture and allow for better airflow through the bottom.
Then came the medium! Two different mixes, 4" of a wicking layer and 8" of a growing medium that we have designed custom for our system. We used American Soil and Stone mostly because their yard is less than 1.5 miles away! 10 yards total material. Decided to get a forklift to get it up off the ground and onto the roof.
We had 7 super sacks of mix. 10 yards total.
4" wicking drain layer that is mostly 5/16" lava rock.
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Amazing crew showed up to help spread the mix. Old and new friends, it was amazing and allowed us to meet our 1 pm deadline for getting the pallets unloaded. Mixed in 8 cubic feet of Biochar from Biochar Supreme
. Black Owl...amazing product! We now are ready t plant out the hedgerow and seed in some winter greens and transplant some starts. Cold and wet time of year, yet still worth it, we are in California.
Dug out the pathway, in a keyhole layout, now ready to plant and test it out