Pedagogy of the Plants

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Honeydew Trampolines

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Last year’s melons were suspended in the air, each wrapped in pantyhose hammocks hung from the bamboo trellis.  This year, they’ll stay on the ground, slightly elevated on improvised hosiery trampolines.

Six wicker baskets cost a dollar at the Habitat Re-Store down the street, and the queen size hose are less than two bucks.  Family Dollar didn’t have large sizes, but the lady was kind enough to pull a pair out to get a better idea of how to stretch them, then she recommended the beauty supply place (Joy Joy) around the corner.

First, cut the feet.

Next, cut lengths that’ll suit the basket’s diameter.

Pull the length of hosiery around as shown.

Stretch taught, then tie both ends.

Some don’t need to be tied, yet remain tight.

The original plan was to use ceramic bowls, but baskets let water through, preventing pooling (and mosquitoes).  The heavier fruit sags pretty close to the bottom of the basket, so as they swell in size, they might need an additional layer of support to remain resting mid air.

Written by Cameron Brooks

July 6, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Savoring Honeydewed Success

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From short, anxious runners wrangled from the edges of a 3×5 ft raised bed back in May, to scores of tenacious tendrils gripping a homemade bamboo trellis, one flower that took to paintbrush IVF turned out delicious. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cameron Brooks

August 31, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Pantyhose Honeydew Hammocks

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The melon above sat on the ground just long enough for something to bore a pencil sized hole into the outer rind.  Now suspended, hopefully that’ll be the last visitor until havest. More hammocks…

Written by Cameron Brooks

July 12, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Honeydew Melon, Cucumis melo

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This is the Trellis Summer.  Sun gold tomatoes at home and in our classroom bed find bambooed support culled from an invasion in the school’s wildlife habitat fit for a family of pandas. Ladders of hemp twine scale vertical bamboo cuts, which (so far) supply enough structure for the bite-sized alkaline orbs.  But it’s the honeydew I’m worried about.   More about my first go at honeydew…

Written by Cameron Brooks

June 12, 2011 at 11:24 pm

More Orbs!

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Twice as many melons swell on the vine this summer, and they need support before the all-you-can-eat buffet opens for insects on the ground.  Click here to see last year’s crop, and stay tuned for a new and improved hosiery hammock/trampoline design…

Written by Cameron Brooks

June 25, 2012 at 9:42 am

The Orbs

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Back from a week surfing, the honeydew now commandeer back door steps and hand rails.   More orbs…

Written by Cameron Brooks

July 9, 2011 at 12:07 am

Flowers in the Hood

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This afternoon I walked to school to check on our class vegetable bed and take some photos along the way.  During the school year, the morning walk takes between ten and fifteen minutes.  Avian neighbors’ songs become familiar, as do annual changes in foliage, and the comfortable smells of breakfast.   Continue the tour…

Written by Cameron Brooks

June 17, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Bartram’s Scrub-Hairstreak, Strymon acis

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Hopefully one of these guys pollinated the honeydew plants this morning.

Written by Cameron Brooks

June 3, 2011 at 5:12 pm