Need the advice of the green-thumbed
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So I live in U.S. Growing Zone 5, and have an old wrought iron "decorative" fence with spacing about a spread hands wide. My dogs are not fans of the neighbors and I'm trying to find a kind of ivy that will grow up and cover the fencing, thickly like the picture, at least for spring - fall (kids are not out in the winter as much). I've checked several gardening stores nearby but get the stereotypical 17 year old "Um......" every time. Had a problem when I bought the place a few years ago with ivy growing out into the yard, so if one is available, preferably only one that grows up and out and not really across the ground.
-I know next to nothing about ivy
Solar Ovens, anyone?
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So I'm going to build a solar oven as part of a project for this Summer. I'd love to know if any of you have any experience building them?
Unfortunately I have an additional caveat in its design which is that it must be transportable and not to heavy (as I need to fly with it)
- Get a large (golf?) umbrella. Remove the handle section, leaving just the ribbed mechanism for opening the umbrella.
- Using the geometry of the umbrella as a template, I can cut out 'petals' of reflective material, which I can then attach between each rib.
- Was thinking of using silver mylar on the roll (20m x 1.2m wide for £25 on the bay: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Silver-Mylar-Reflective-Mirror-Foil-Sheet-Sheeting-20M-Roll-Party-Gift-Wrap-/131701785611?hash=item1eaa09c40b:g:oWcAAOSwFqJWl83w)
Either attach the mylar by adhesive (when on site), or if I can I can bolt it on with small wingnuts which'd allow me to deconstruct it without tearing it apart.
I guess my questions come down to:
- Does the above make sense and do you think it'll work?
- Is Mylar sheeting gonna be good enough? Can anyone suggest a better alternative for this application?
- Is the geometry of an umbrella going to be appropriate to focus the solar energy to the centre point?
I'm going to be using it in desert conditions, average highs of 28-34C, and I intend to use it to make bread. I'm optimistic about reaching 180C, not sure if I can push 230C
I own an IR thermometer and will probably test it here at home (mild summer temps) to see how it might fare.