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A-frame - /ā,ə frām/ - noun
March 20h, 2019
Definition: A wooden structure resembling the letter “A” that is used to identify the contour lines on sloped land. By attaching a rock that hangs from a string at the top of the “A”, the frame serves as a “level” and can accurately mark off the contours on sloped land to ensure that the rows of vegetation are planted at a uniform elevation.
In the Forest Garden: In order for farmers to benefit from contour planting, it is essential that they are able to accurately identify contour lines. If a farmer incorrectly marks the contours lines in his/her field, runoff can build up and flow along the vegetation, potentially causing more erosion than would normally happen, even without contour planting. To ensure farmers are contour planting correctly, they learn how to construct and calibrate the A-frame before going out into their field to mark contour lines.
Want to build your own?
Here is all you need:
Two 1.5 to 2 meter sticks or poles about 3 to 5 cm in diameter (wood, bamboo, plastic, or any other light-weight, sturdy material)
One 1 to 1.5 meter stick of the same material
Three nails, or 2 meters of twine/string for binding the wood together
One 1.5 meter piece of twine/string for the level
One round rock, about 5 cm in diameter
Learn how to build and use an A-frame here.