Katie Bretsch

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since Dec 19, 2014
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Recent posts by Katie Bretsch

So, I was about to start a thread on an adaptive topic, and found this discussion in the course of my due diligence to be sure the topic wasn't already out there. So, count this as big vote for an adaptive earth tech forum.

The specific thing I was going to try starting a thread on is designs for standing height raised beds. There are lots of us who are older or for whatever reason have problems with bending over to garden. Poverty and transient homedness are the common companions of these challenges. Given all this, it would be great if somebody who knew what they were doing cooked up some earth-built, easily constructed, cheap standing height raised bed plans. Another plus would be easy to remove. Sometimes people will let you put a garden bed in their yard, but don't want anything super-permanent.

I was thinking earth-bag, but my familiarity with it is purely theoretical.

There's a huge need for ramps at ADA slope for people to be able to stay in their own homes. Seems like another thing that would make such sense to do earth-built. But again, somebody who knew what they were doing would have to design it. Right now there are businesses that sell these things, but typically they are pre-fab things that are expensive and probably suck up excessive resources.

Thanks in advance for anybody who has ideas to share on tis.

Here's a link to some use of vines for cooling in Australia. I've got a Pinterest board with vine images this is one of.

http://pinterest.com/pin/A_zTEAAQQF4CJ6NXWDkAAAA/
5 years ago
Vitis riparia

Vitis riparia. Another wild grape native to the US middle west. Very similar in appearance and habit to p3.

This would be Permie-acceptable in its home range, no?
5 years ago
Question: do Permies only grow native grapes?
5 years ago
Mmmm...You have educated me well. Thank you for taking the time and effort to get all the details out for me on this.

I have used "exotic" for out-of-home range plantsand "invasive" for bad behavior like escaping and self-propagating. So, it is good to know that people here use "invasive" for both.

I think this makes me not a Permie. But, I 'll keep my love for parthenocissus tricuspidata dialed down here. I'm still not going to believe that it is an escape hazard until I see it for myself. The concept of vines for cooling existing structures is too valuable to be lost in a debate over the choice of vine.

One of the articles I found cited a California native grape with petite fruits. That should be Permie-acceptable, no? If it behaved in other good ways as p3, it could be a great answer.

A friend has a regular juice grape growing over his worksp, including the roof. I would be hesitant because the un-picked fruit woulddraw rats.
5 years ago
Glad the tap root question got raised because it got me to find this interesting Chinese paper specifically on the low water performance of parthenocissus tricuspidata and nutrients utilization as they serve the use of this plant for urban cooling, air quality by building clothing, covering walls, etc.

Conclusion is that it is very suitable. Performs well in low water conditions. Uses nutrients well. So, all together, a low input plant for urban cooling and air quality.

http://ejournal.sinica.edu.tw/bbas/content/2010/2/Bot512-03.pdf. Chinese sci paper spec on low water tolerance and suitability for urban cooling / air cleeaning, flatwork greening.
5 years ago
Parthenocissus quinquefolia. Bah! Pardon sloppy spelling!
5 years ago
I'm looking for the tap root reference. It is a grape with very small fruits but similar habit. The deep tap root is characteristic of the grapes.

Will dispute the claim of invasiveness until I see an example for myself. The cinquifolia is less vigorous and not able to cover such a large wall area as the tricuspidata. Lots of desirable plants come from Asia. Using parthenocissus tricuspidata for wall greening is a traditional practice which I'll argue needs to be re-invigorated, IMHO.

5 years ago
http://inhabitat.com/green-box-act_romegialli-transforms-a-rustic-shed-into-a-living-plant-wrapped-oasis/


Here's a great article on vine covered buildings with gorgeous pictures. This is what I imagine us doing with existing building stock. So easy and so beneficial!
5 years ago