Update #3 (February 1 – February 16)

During the past two weeks, there was a major change in the scope of the project.  It appears that My Arms Wide Open has already set a design for the vertical food wall project at Ray-Cam.  Since we were informed of this, our team decided the need of another meeting with Sabine and My Arms Wide Open to discuss our project scope.

Prior to the meeting, our team came up with a list of questions to ask Sabine and My Arms Wide Open.  Basically, we were unsure of our responsibilities for the project as it seems that everything is set and ready to be implemented.

After meeting with Sabine and Judy from Strathcona 1890 (in charge of planting seedlings), we realized that many changes have been made.  Most importantly, the project will now be implemented in the North-East side of Ray-Cam Community Centre instead of the gymnasium wall.  Once all of our questions were answered, our newly assigned responsibilities were clear.  Our new scope is as follows:

  • Obtain as many 2L pop bottles as possible by the end of March (goal of 2500 bottles)
  • Research and choose specific types of plants to grow on the vertical wall and send a list to Judy by February 24
  • Design and build examples of different structures that can be used to grow plants in, which may be placed alongside the vertical food wall

The new project site on the North-East side of Ray-Cam.

We will not be taking part in the construction of the vertical wall as time does not permit us to do so.  However, we were given the above tasks to help further develop the wall and compliment it with other independent structures.

To collect 2L pop bottles, we are planning to fill most of our quota by asking students in UBC residence.  We will contact the residence advisers to see if a bottle drive would be possible after reading break (there should be a lot of bottles to be collected after the break as students may hold numerous parties).  In addition, Helen and Dr. Nesbit have graciously volunteered to help collect some bottles for us from their workplace.  As collecting 2500 bottles may be very hard with such a tight schedule, we will try our best to collect as many as we can.  Additional bottles will be obtained by My Arms Wide Open through recycling depots.

We are in charge of researching different types of plants that would fit into the Downtown Eastside community.  We will have to consider fruits, vegetables, and condiments that would suit different cultures.  Also, we will be taking into account different plants for different growing seasons.  During this reading break, we will compile a list of possible plants to be grown on the food wall and send it over to Judy, who will then plant seedlings.

The most exciting part about this change in scope is the designing and building of structures that can be used to grow plants in.  After discussing with Sabine and Judy, we came up with ideas using old shoes, clothes and other unconventional items to grow plants.  We also discussed different methods of watering the plants.  Again, during this reading break, we will collaborate on the design of one or two portable garden structures that could be used to compliment the vertical food wall.  We will definitely use our engineering skills to design unique and effective structures that will be an important part of the vertical food wall project.

Ideas from Vertical Vegetables & Fruits for our experimental gardening structures.

It is time to get busy with our project!