Sponge and A-Frame Workshop, Saturday, December 7, 2013

Sponge and A-Frame Workshop, Saturday, December 7, 2013

9AM – 1PM

at La Resolana, Edgewood


     The sponge is a useful rainwater harvesting technique that needs little maintenance. I find sponges to be invaluable in establishing tree saplings on windy, dry sites with poor soil and in reinvigorating old trees.

     Sponges made of carbon materials passively absorb winter snows and summer rains, store moisture efficiently in the soil for months at a time, and recycle carbon into our depleted desert soil. Carbon sponges hold moisture safely, out of the drying wind and harsh sun, in the living soil next to plant roots where it’s utilized for growth. Carbon sponges are a simple and convenient way to very-locally recycle newspapers, cardboard, magazines, old textbooks, phone books, junk mail, confidential papers, yard cuttings, cotton/leather/silk clothes, etc.

     We will do a short site tour at La Resolana to look at a variety of old sponges and their effects on nearby plants, before doing hands-on installation of several sponges with carbon material you bring from home. We’ll use an A-frame to identify the contour to determine how to catch rainwater most efficiently for the sponge, and then place the sponge in the soil and finish it off so it looks as natural as possible on the site.

     Then we’ll form groups of three to make state of the art A-frames that are durable, light-weight and foldable. I aspire for these groups to share an A-frame together, so they can use them over time in varied conditions, sharing outcomes with each other for continuing experiences and learning. I’ll give everyone marking flags so you can get started designing water retention strategies with your A-frame on your own sites!




 9 AM                          Site tour of successful sponges and a sponge ladder


10 AM                               Make several sponges: identify contour, dig hole and berm the downhill side, fill with carbon “waste,” step down the materials, mulch, armor the downhill berm, water(?), extend arms of berms, and take pictures


11 AM- 1 PM              Make A-frames (inside the rainbarn with a woodstove) (I have tools and materials)



            $25 with scholarships available.  Limited to 18 people. Please e-mail me with your contact information including a current e-mail and phone number. Please bring a large bag of sponge material and a shovel.

     I plan on having a woodchip berm and A-frame workshop next spring.


     I look forward to sharing this simple rainwater harvesting technique that is extremely beneficial with minimal maintenance,


                                                                        Christian Meuli