Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Bean Tepee tutorial!

This beautiful day we took advantage of the awesome weather and built our BEAN TEPEE! We'll be planting scarlet runner beans around it so that it'll serve the dual purpose of providing us with beans AND a place to have summer tea parties!

We, first, painted the soil around a hulahoop (afterward I realized that we could have had the same result by using a flower pot filled with sand and using it to mark the soil...less paint). After realizing that a hulahoop sized teppe would be rather small ;), we decided to increase it's size!
Anyhow, we dug in a circle around the circular guideline leaving about 30 cm of space between the paint and the trench. Also, we had to make sure there was a doorway; so we didn't dig for the 60 cm location we had chosen for the doorway. We dug down about 45cm....Liv and Briar had to 'rescue' every worm that we encountered to transplant in the veggie garden...It slowed the progress a bit! Jeff and the kids cut down 8 alder saplings which we stripped of limbs and saved. We tied the saplings together about 3 metres from the thickest end with dark coloured twine (so it wouldn't stand out).
Liv helped me to spread the poles (saplings) out into a tripod shape in the trench. Because it was tilted, we dug deeper under some of the poles and stuffed rocks under others so that they were reasonably stable.

Next, we sorted through the pile of limbs that we had removed and picked out the largest ones. Interlacing these limbs with the frame of poles, I (Liv decided she was done at this point and played in the sand box with her bare feet) tied a small portion of them to steady up the frame.

The remaining twigs and branches I wove in and out of the frame that we had built.
When I had finished using up all the branches, I used twine (again) to add a bit of structure to the tepee so that the wood would dry in the desired shape more readily.
I replaced the soil that we had removed from the trench and tamped it down a bit (not too much as I plan to add a bit of top soil and plant scarlet runner beans). I wanted to make sure that it wouldn't blow over when the wind howls across the marsh. I am thinking that if it's sturdy enough, I can leave it up all year round...
I LOVE the effect that the top had when laying on my back inside the tepee when I was done. Doesn't it look like a spiderweb???
It looks like it has always been there! I can't wait to plant the beans!!


maymomvt (or Sarah) said...

I love your bean tepee. I used to run scarlet runner beans up and over my girls' swingset. I love the leafy walls!

Poppy & Mei said...

It's just beautiful as it is, I can't wait for the beans! Xxx

Yarrow said...

That is beautiful! I can't wait to try one with Sophie. Lovely blog.

Carle said...

This is so amazing that I sent a link of it to my group... Oh am I think I'll make one to grow peas.