Submitted by Will Thorn (A Third Grader)
My name is Will Thorn. I am a Third Grader at Happy Valley School and have lived in Lafayette all my life. I love to build and my favorite project is my sustainable fort. I have been building it for years using recycled lumber from my Dad’s building projects. Last summer I added a sleeping loft where I can sleep in the summertime.
I also love to garden. Every year I plant lots of vegetables but mostly tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes and brandywines are our favorites but every year we try new varieties. We always use starters and always plant the tomatoes where they get lots of sun. We dig in lots of compost and chicken manure before planting. I plant and tend the garden and pick the vegetables. When we have enough tomatoes I help my Mom make tomato sauce, which we preserve in jars and use all year long.
A couple of years ago I made a weather station for my science fair project and I measured the amount of rainwater that fell. Most rainfall is in winter but I need water in summer for my plants. I started thinking about collecting rainwater to use for the garden. My dad and I decided to build a roof and gutters for my fort and collect the rainwater in barrels. We ordered two recycled plastic 60 gallon rain barrels that my dad found on the Internet. They were filled up after only a couple of big storms. This year I will use that water for my vegetable garden.
My Mom and Dad are architects and builders (Thorn Architects) and recycle as much material from their projects as possible. Besides the leftover lumber that I use for my fort, they take old windows and doors to Urban Ore in Berkeley.
Urban Ore – “To end the age of waste”
H2OUSE – Interactive Guide to Saving Water
Ace Hardware in Lafayette and Moraga sell rain barrels. There are also many online stores for rain barrels including Amazon.com, HomeDepot.com, Sears.com, AceHardware.com, RainBarrelSource.com, Gardeners.com.
Orchard Nursery – for tomato and vegetable starters
Mt. Diablo Nursery – for tomato and vegetable starters