The Evolution of the Vertical Gardens at Mezzacello

The steel vertical garden rails at Mezzacello
Jim Bruner | Mezzacello The Evolution of the Vertical Gardens at Mezzacello

If you follow my blog at Mezzacello at all you will undoubtedly have noticed my fascination with overhead gardening. With so few beds and such a small footprint for growing food, it makes good sense to grow up. I started this project with trellises made of bent rebar and welded wire that reached over two of the beds across the east west axis. Then I played with using cedar, but that was a failure.

An Investment in Metal

The return to sturdier metal structures was an evolution of the #ProjectMartian bioreactor. I have found that steel in an urban garden makes for more sense than wood. This is not as obvious as you might think. One of the biggest obstacles to any structure in a downtown environment is pollution. Pollution degrades wood at a much faster rate than it does brick or stone, or as in this case, metal. I have replaced every bench and arbor in this garden that has been made of wood. The wood absorbs too much water and pollution. Steel is not affected as quickly.

We replaced the allee arbors with elegant steel arches. The bioreactor tower is steel, as is the roof of all new structures. Richard made an investment in a large (3m x 4m x 3m) arbor structure for the potager gardens. This will allow me to grow more food vertically and have the added benefit of allowing me to electrically ground it…

Not Just for Food

While I will use this amazing arbor structure to grow food (after I figure out how to anchor it securely) I will also use it for other things. Things like a landing pad for drones. This is logical because there are no trees overhead. Or I can mount solar panels and windmills. The food does not grow on top, it actually will hang on hooks below so those two gardens will not interfere with each other. I will be able to water from this structure as well. It is three meters high!

Stay tuned to this space. I will be continuing to evolve how I will use this structure over the winter and into spring of 2022. It is definitely not a one use deal. Maybe I will finally get the dome I have always wanted over the growing beds at Mezzacello? Maybe. Tell me what y0u think I should do with this structure in the comments. Meanwhile here is a gallery of the three of us assembling this structure in beds Beta 3 and Beta 4 and Gamma 3 and Gamma 4.

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