Nov 2, 2009

Design Competition for Vine Support Structures - Apply by December 31, 2009

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Press Release on Design Competition for Vine Support Structures - Apply by December 31, 2009
Design Competition: Trellis About It!
MINNEAPOLISMN, November 2, 2009 –  Are you interested in sustainability, gardening, architectural design, or permaculture?  How would you design a vertical growing system for melons and other vines that is low-cost, durable, and produces high quality fruit?  Got an idea?  Enter our juried design competition and help urban gardeners increase food production.
"This year's competition challenges our contestants to build low-cost, durable, trellis system for growing melons and other vine crops in tight urban spaces," says Paula Westmoreland, Executive Director of Permaculture Research Institute (PRI) Cold Climate, which is organizing the contest.  Permaculture is an ecological design system with guiding values of caring for the earth, caring for people, and sharing the surplus.  
Why melons? Lindsay Rebhan, who is helping organize the competition, explains: "They present a challenge not only because of their weight and the need to support each fruit, but also because their long growing seasons make them a gamble in cold climates."
Designs will be judged on their ability to not only support 50 pounds of melons and other vines, but also to create healthy microclimates for them by moderating rapid weather changes and incorporating companion plants.  Contestants are encouraged to use recycled materials in their construction.  
The top designs will be displayed at public exhibition on March 13.  The winning design team will be awarded $500 toward implementation at a public venue.  
The application fee is $10 per team.  Applications must be received by December 31.  Completed designs are due February 26.  For more information, visit  Contact Karen at or (763)551-9572 with questions.
PRI Cold Climate, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing more sustainable strategies for living in cold climate regions, also operates the Backyard Harvest program that converted fifteen Twin Cities yards into delicious food gardens in 2009.  Visit for more information about our current events and projects.

Evelyn Hadden, Communications Coordinator
Permaculture Research Institute - Cold Climate

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