by Jorge Bustamante, 05/01/13
Today continued where we left off last week. We installed the metal strips where the modules hang and put up about half of the modules. This presented a unique set of challenges. First we had to make sure that the strips were perfectly leveled and covered 10 feet in length, but this was complicated by the fact that they were not all exactly the same. Some of them were set at a slightly different angle and some were larger than others. They measured about 3 feet, so we needed to cut some in three part so that we could install the 10 feet required. Rachel and JC were in charge of that. Meanwhile Kirk, and I worked on installing the metal strips. Later Kirk and I went to get the planted modules from the greenhouse while the rest of the team added more metal strips. We put up the modules according to a specific pattern designed by the students and Professor Dvorak. Since the Asian Jasmine was still rooting and not ready to be planted in the modules we used empty modules instead.
We tried to propagate the Asian Jasmine a few weeks ago by dipping cuttings into rooting hormone, but they were taking a long time to root. This made me realize the many uncertainties when you are dealing with natural systems. It’s impossible to control every single variable, so sometimes you have to be patient and only nudge natural systems one way or the other and let them run their course. The good thing is that most other plants were ready and seem to be doing well in the modules.
Here is a picture of the wall up to now.
We hope to finish the semester next week by installing the last modules.
—Jorge Bustamante, Graduate Student, Biological and Agricultural Engineering