This morning during Bea's first nap I went to the Tractor Supply in Rural Hall. I finally purchased the long-coveted cattle panels (16 feet x 50 inches), some t-posts, and a surprise goody -- a 20 lb bag of diatomaceous earth. Then I had to come home and be Mom and Chef, made lunch for all of us, read books and played and waited for the fussy crankies to set in. It didn't take long and Bea was back down for her afternoon nap.
I rushed outside, unloaded the cattle panels (quite the sight for the neighbors, I'm sure), and began to set up the trellis. I'll add more details about the construction later, but the basic concept is to place t-posts so that they will support the arched cattle panel from the outside. 12 posts, three panels, and a bunch of zip ties later, voila! In about an hour, singlehanded, I had built a trellis tunnel that was over 12 feet long, 6 feet high and four feet wide. Soon I will be planting English peas and snow peas on the trellis and veggies on the inside. A farm I visited late last Spring had a similar setup, only about three times as long, with two kinds of peas on the outside, and on the inside a row of broccoli flanked by two rows of potatoes. It seemed like a very efficient use of space and produced a large amount of food. Being an urban farm, any compatible intercropping and multi-level growing that we can do will help us be more efficient and productive.
oh, I hear noises from the nursery... Now it's time to be a mom and chef again. I'll be sure to add pictures of the trellis once it has things growing on it. It's kind of hard to see the gray metal against the winter tree backdrop.