Read at : Google Alert – vertical gardening
Kirkland artist’s garden pots grow veggies galore
Last year, perhaps the coldest summer on record before this one, Deloss Webber harvested so much food he donated to food banks, shared with friends and family, canned, froze, made stock, soup and gallons of caponata.
IT TOOK A sculptor to dream up a 3D vertical system to grow more plants in less space, and a foodie-farmer type to make sure it really works. Deloss Webber, originator of the Vee Garden, is an artist, chef and entrepreneur as well as an environmentalist who fashioned all parts of his efficient system from repurposed and recycled materials.
When a developer cut down hundreds of trees above Webber’s Kirkland property a couple of years ago, he lost privacy but gained light. “I love the saying, ‘Barn’s burnt down, now I can see the moon,’ ” says Webber, who took advantage of all that new open sky by setting in to grow food.
Webber grew up a Navy brat, trying out unusual foods, herbs and spices around the world. By the time he was 14 he knew he wanted to be a farmer, and at 21 bought 160 acres in Minnesota. Between those initial acres and his new vertical-gardening endeavors lie 40 years of cooking, running a restaurant and building a career as a noted sculptor represented by major Seattle galleries.
“I’ve always been looking for the perfect widget,” says Webber, who was inspired to move forward with developing systems for growing food when Michelle Obama dug up the White House lawn to plant a vegetable garden.
Webber’s 3D garden pots started with the concept of the old-fashioned strawberry pot with pockets on the side. “I started riffing on that idea, but with pipes,” Webber says of his tower pots in which he grows vegetables, herbs and fruit. Because Webber thinks sculpturally, it wasn’t such a stretch for him to conceive of growing raspberry canes in a spiraling doughnut-shaped row rather than the usual configuration.