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Welcome to the Raggedy Cottage and Garden. As an effort to promote home style creativity and genuine old-fashioned character, I have starte...

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Sunflower Wigwam T-P

This is our wigwam T-P fort or what you may call it.    It is made out of sunflower stalks.  They were perfect for building this contraption.  As you can see in the top image, I made a mat out of the sun flower stalks by weaving twine at three locations on the mat. (an example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3yTExd_DmQ ... ) Now normally, a cat-tail mat is made to cover the outside of a normal wigwam. This is made to adjust to our agricultural landscape, yet taking into account america's natural heritage.

In order to construct a wigwam that would fit two sleeping people, you will need to plant a thirty by thirty plot of sunflowers.  In this case, I did NOT fill an entire thirty by thirty plot (I filled the inside of the plot with other garden goodies), rather I planted about eight closely planted rows on the outside perimeter of a thirty by thirty foot garden.  This tight spacing caused the stalks to grow quite thin, rather than thick and woody.  

When the sunflower heads produced seed and started to dry, I proceeded to saw down all of the sun flower stalks.  I made a total of two large mats that are as tall as a six or seven foot door, with the stalks I had available.  If I would have been wiser and more understanding of the nature of sunflower stalks, I probably would have mastered the ability to make three large mats or even greater size structure.  But this will do for now.  

This is a perfect opportunity for homeless people to build their own structures to live within, during cold winter months..    The entire contraption from the stalks to hold up the wigwam T-P is very light weight, so that a single woman with a bad back may carry the entire structure, minus additional weights (to hold down the structure in strong winds), and coverings.

By the way, it does NOT take a lot of time to make a sunflower stalk mat.  It takes about one afternoon to harvest all the sunflower stalks, and one full afternoon to construct a good set of sunflower mats.  Of course if you do not live in the same area as your sunflower stalks, it may take some time to transport all the material, but this can actually be done by tieing all the sunflower-stalks onto the top of a two door sadan.....or just borrow a friends truck for a day or two.

This is also perfect for other people who are interested in building fun outdoor structures. Some ideas include: 
*Play house or fort for children
*A hunting cabin.  Just use wooden frame and then put mats on outside of a wooden frame.
*A camping Contraption....use this instead of a store bought tent.  It is actually easier to set up.. 
* A summer reading nook
*A home for pets
*A way to celebrate the feast of tabernacles
*A fun little home-school project.
*A place for your college drop out to crash..... the list could go on.  Think of using the sunflower stalk mats in other ways too..... fencing, boxes, animal traps, flower planting arrangements, you name it.

In the image given, blankets from our house are used as outside coverings and a few clothespins, to hold the blankets in place.  I am sure tarps would do, or if interested, try cat-tail, grass or other natural mats.  The inside of such a wigwam will stay just as warm as an automobile, in negative fourty degree weather, so long as heating source is adjusted properly, and lower edges of the structure are kept from allowing cold air to enter the structure through the bottom.

The cost?  If you do not have a large supply of sunflower seeds (Try bird seed supply), you may usually buy a bulk order through seed savers seed company for about thirteen dollars a bag.  The plot to garden was about twenty dollars plus twenty dollars deposit.... or was it fourty dollars and fourty dollars....I cannot remember.  Twine, cost about three dollars for a good size roll of it.  Scissors and saw to cut down the stalks and cut off the sunflower heads.... one dollar.  Total cost, minus the cost of using the garden plot, was easily under twenty dollars.

Try building this with cornstalks or other tall thick stalk plants...

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