Take a moment to watch our latest Team Capitol DC video showcasing the unique landscaping aspects of HARVEST HOME.
When I was little I would follow my grandfather pretty much everywhere, especially while he did yard work. Naturally, he would tell me about how plants grow and the care and keeping of them, but he didn’t stop there. My grandfather would also tell about his memories attached to the plants. Somewhere in there he’d always encourage me to learn all I could because I was the future.
I suppose that’s why I was so excited to hear about Boy Scout Troop 1853’s involvement with HARVEST HOME. The future was coming to help! I couldn’t agree more with George Washington University graduate student and Lead Landscape Designer for Team Capitol DC, Julie Melear’s, thoughts on engaging young students beyond their textbooks. I think we’re doing young students a disservice if we simply allow their education to end at the classroom door.
One of the many wonderful things about the pop-up gardens featured outside HARVEST HOME is that they make ensuring children learn about nature outside of the classroom an easy thing. No need to pack everyone up on a long camping trip for those first hand experiences. All it takes is a couple of milk crates, liners, soil and some seeds! Even if the plant doesn’t make it the first time, it’s part of the learning process. Just like HARVEST HOME. So get out there! Make memories and a brighter future!
Guest Blogger: Elizabeth Linares
I like being outside. Doesn’t matter the time of year, the weather or where I am. Colder is better, but I’ll take outside anytime over inside. And my wife and I lived and worked on a farm in the mid-Hudson Valley for 16 years.
That’s one reason why I’m so committed to HARVEST HOME and Team Capitol DC – the landscaping of the exterior decks is an integral design element to both the home and the themes of project. The effort is to merge inside and outside, or at least to mitigate the traditional barriers between them. The future occupant(s) will gain great therapeutic benefits from working in the dirt with the native plants and edibles that will surround him or her. It’s been shown in several studies just how important the outside is to our health and wellbeing. So it was fun to be able to hang out with George Washington University graduate and current landscaping volunteer, Mary Sper, while she worked with the vegetables and companion plants here in Washington D.C., and shared her thoughts about HARVEST HOME as well as her commitment to it. While the plants used here in Washington D.C. are not the same plants that we will be using in Irvine, you get the idea how great the “pop-up” garden concept really is. Enjoy.
Guest Blogger: Larry Engel
In May I headed to Poolesville in rural western Maryland to watch the reclamation of a barn by Professor Brad Guy and members of Team Capitol DC. It was a Saturday, which is usually a big biking day for me (road or mountain biking, that is), and in fact it was a great day. I was curious how a deconstruction works.
I arrived midday, after the roof had been removed. The team of four students along with Brad started working on the skeleton of the barn. I filmed for a couple of hours and created a short vignette of the sights and sounds of the action.
The little old red barn sat alone on the scraped red dirt of the next stage of the new home development. Nearby to one side a new home sat, with green grass, a small children’s play area and a shiny blacktop driveway. The developer of the complex was kind enough to let Team Capitol DC members harvest what they could from the barn for use in HARVEST HOME.
Brad estimated that about 500 board feet were salvaged. It was a lot of work. But knowing that the students put in a hard day to save what they could and not use brand new lumber in our U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon entry home felt right to me. I wish more builders and designers would do the same. Reusing is a critical element to sustainability. Throwing useable materials away is not.
Ultimately it was a bit sad for me to see that yet another fertile landscape, one that had supported agriculture for so long, was gone. But that seems to be what we do – at least for the moment. And when HARVEST HOME is complete, I will know that some of that day and the little red barn still survives.
Guest Contributor: Larry Engel (Team Capitol DC Film & Communications)