Here are some of my favorite architectural spots from my travels. Not all of these sites are located in Texas, but many have a roundish or natural material feel to their construction. Those are elements I truly admire in my ideal world of construction too. Check out each blog post for more pictures aside from the ones featured below!
Architecture Spot: Village Farms
“Village Farm features an initial phase of 40 home lots, and an additional 112 in phase 2. Amenities include a general store and cafe, community kitchen, pathways and sidewalks connect homes, farms, gardens, a school, neighborhood pocket parks and commercial areas into a seamless network reminiscent of a traditional village. A wide variety of activities and events, including pop-up restaurant nights, a weekly farmers market and cooking classes for kids and adults, foster community engagement and connectivity among residents.”
“Community First! Village is a 51-acre master planned community that provides affordable, permanent housing and a supportive community for men and women coming out of chronic homelessness. A development of Mobile Loaves & Fishes, this transformative residential program exists to love and serve our neighbors who have been living on the streets, while also empowering the surrounding community into a lifestyle of service with the homeless.”
This is a collection of my personal projects, most of which are gardening-related. I also have a few projects related to vermiculture, a hobby I picked up years ago trying to improve my waste practices. Check out each project blog post to see more details and follow my creation process.
Project: The [RE]verse Pitch Competition
I decided to participate in the [RE]verse Pitch Competition through the city of Austin. It’s an entrepreneurial competition like Shark Tank, only the difference is that materials are pitched in reverse to the entrepreneurs. I created vermicomposting bags made from Austin Eastcider’s excess sugar Supersacks.
I built a worm casting sifter, or a panning trommel, to help better separate my worms from my castings. I found a worm casting sifter DIY video online and recreated it. Overall, I would recommend a different style and have it mechanically powered instead of manual.
I took on another personal project which was to build a worm casting sifter, or a panning trommel, to better separate my worms and my castings. I found this worm casting sifter DIY video from Planted by Chris, which I followed to build my very own sifter. After I completed my sifter, I would recommend probably a different style with an electric motor. This works better than by hand, but still requires lots of work and sifting for small juveniles/eggs.
I started off by buying the video’s purchase list requirements to make the sifter. This included mesh wiring, PVC pipes and joints, bots and washers, and extra buckets. I cut the pipes using PVC snips and dry-fit the rotation frame together. This was partially done during the snowmagedon. I had to wait post-storm to get certain parts because hardware stores were sold out of PVC for plumbing issues.
I decided to participate in the [RE]verse Pitch Competition which I originally heard about in 2019. It’s an entrepreneurial competition like Shark Tank, only the difference is that materials are pitched in reverse to the entrepreneurs. This competition is sponsored by the City of Austin, nonprofits, and other corporate sponsors.
I was planning on pursuing vermicomposting bags made from Austin Eastcider’s excess sugar Supersacks. All in all, I would reattempt this experience with the same or similar idea, a potential mid-size municipal vermicomposting center for the city of Austin.
Entrepreneurs are used to pitching their business idea to investors, partners, and anyone they might share an elevator ride with. In this competition, the tables turn. The [RE]verse Pitch Competition helps turn valuable raw materials that are currently leaving local businesses, non-profits, and institutions as waste into the raw materials for new or expanding social enterprises.
I had a festive holiday season, which included a trip home to see family and friends! I met friends for Christmas lights, went with the girlfriend to an Austin art bazaar, and a Christmas music-timed lightshow at an Austin lakeside coffee bar.
Trail of Lights – Addison, TX
I met up with a group of friends I made while I was living in Dallas, before I moved to Austin. We all went out to Vitruvian Park in Addison, Texas to the Trail of Lights, a sea of lighting that encompasses all the trees immediately in and around the complex walking path. I also worked for a few years in the lower building complex with the HCK2 Partners marketing and communications agency.
My girlfriend wanted to spend the weekend in San Antonio for a getaway. So naturally I wanted to see some gardens with her while we were in town! Our stops included the 33-acre San Antonio Botanical Gardens non-profit complex, as well as the San Antonio Japanese Tea Garden, or Sunken Gardens in Brackenridge Park.