Monday, September 27, 2010

Do you know what hypertufa is?

Students in HOR 154 (Intro to Horticulture Therapy) recently made hypertufa planters as part of a laboratory exercise. Hypertufa is an artificial stone material made of peat moss, perlite (or vermiculite), and Portland cement (NOT Quickrete) in a ratio of 3:3:2. Cement coloring may also be added to produce different colored containers. Hypertufa is much lighter than cement alone and can be used to make planters, bird baths and feeders, as well as stepping stones. One of the major attractions of hypertufa is its rustic appearance. It really does look like natural stone. 

 

Production of hypertufa planting containers can have beneficial (therapeutic) effects on various populations. In addition to the benefits from the physical exertion required during the mixing process, creativity is stimulated and motor skills are refined. Another benefit was realized last year when three hypertufa planters made by students and planted with sedums were auctioned at the Power of the Purse event in Asheville. The planters netted the group $525 which was added to the Women's Fund at the Community Foundation to support less fortunate women and children across our mountain region. (post by John Sherman)

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