This post is a collaborative writing project by the entire Yellow Band. Enjoy!
We began our week by figuring out how many acres of farmland we would need to feed San Francisco’s population of roughly 840,000 people. We found that it would take the equivalent of close to 43 San Francisco’s in acreage, if one farm of about 230 acres feeds on average 150 people. That’s a lot of land! Like our hanging gutter planter, one solution is to farm vertically, minimizing its footprint.
We have been continuing to observe out self-watering planters. Last Friday, Quinn’s pinto bean plant had not yet sprouted and by Monday morning it had reached about 7 inches tall. In comparison, Huxley’s lentil plant which had already sprouted last week only grew about 3 inches over the weekend. Patrick’s bean plant that was left to grow on the ledge under the gutter planter has grow up and around the gutter to reach the sunlight. Justin’s plant still has not sprouted. He believes that his soil was too wet when he planted his seed.
On Monday afternoon, we walked to the All in Common Community Garden with the Green Band. We continued to read our book Seedfolks. Change continued to be a theme in the chapters we read. We volunteered at the garden and met the garden’s resident cat. We swept and raked leaves to use as fertilizer for some potatoes we helped plant. We learned that the garden had once been a vacant lot just like the garden in Seedfolks.
On Tuesday we began our Seed Dispersal Olympics with the Green Band. Our first event was to build a machine that could be activated in the wild that could fling or explode seeds. To help us gather ideas we watched a short video about plants that use explosions to spread their seeds. We all created different designs including slingshots, catapults, and balloons fill of vinegar and baking soda. We will be testing all the designs on Friday.
Wednesday morning we continued our Seed Dispersal Olympics by creating ways to disperse seeds in water. We looked for materials that would float and hold air. Some included corks, balloons, and tin foil.
In the afternoon, we went to Starbucks to write our NaNoWriMo stories. We wanted to try working in a different environment than our band space. Being able to buy our own treats made some of us feel a bit more at home. Justin, Quinn, and Patrick shared their stories with one another giving each other the chance to add a sentence to each story.
On Thursday morning we began our wind powered Seed Dispersal Olympics. Lucy looked for fluff to add to a seed to help it fly. Nora and Quinn worked to create a hang glider balloon, while Patrick frayed paracord, and Justin worked on a straw and paper hang glider (which he thinks would work better as a boat.) Huxley and his group used tracing paper to make a lightweight bowl to hopefully trap the air as it travelled. After a few trials, Huxley found that his bowl waited to be dropped the opposite way than he had originally expected.
Friday morning brought the “competition” portion of our Seed Dispersal Olympics. We saw everything from catapults to balloon rafts to fluff to water balloon popping devices. While each machine dispersed their seeds in their own unique ways, all machines showed incredible thought regarding the method of dispersal. After the competition, each band member received a medal for their individual contributions to the Seed Dispersal Olympics.