I’ve always thought those big satellite dishes were so cool. I figured with the proper tweaking you could probably pick up just about any transmission, including signals sent from outer space. One day as I was driving by my neighbors I noticed that he had one in his scrap pile. Well with a little expert negotiating and $20, it was mine.
The first thing I did was mount it to the front end loader on my tractor so I could adjust the angle and height easily. Then I soldered some old ear phones to it so I could hear any signal it might pick up.
After several hours of driving around my field with the satellite dish mounted to my tractor I realized that all I was doing was burning diesel. I got off my tractor and sat in the shade of the dish to try to decide what I was going to do with the useless 10 round hunk of aluminum. Clearly my expectations of the dish were over estimated. As I sat in the cool shade of the dish it occurred to me that if I turned the dish over it would form a dome type roof that would offer very good shade.
That thought stuck with me for several days until my wife, Tibby, said, “We should grow some table grapes.” And I thought, why not. We grow ten different types of fruit trees, three types of berries, avocados, grass hay, two types of fish, goats, donkeys, a dog, a cat and our own beef, why not table grapes?
I told her we would need a trellis or gazebo to grow them on and she said, “I’m sure you’ll figure something out.” I thought…”That’s odd, she is leaving it up to me on how to build something?” It was almost alien to our usual conversations. She usually thinks I need a lot of supervision. Then that word alien reminded me of trolling for signals from outer space and that reminded me of the dome of the satellite dish and what good shade it was. Then my mind, working like it does, though about sex, but after that I started to formulate a plan to use the 10 dome as the roof of a grape trellis/gazebo.
So here is how I built the grape gazebo. I bought, from the same neighbor, some big metal warehouse rack legs for $20.00 and mounted them to the dome. Using some ¾ conduit, I made some bracing to keep the legs and dome stable. I went to the farm store and bought some cattle panel fencing to use for the railing around the gazebo. Topped the railing with some 1” black poly pipe and used some 11/2” ABS sewer pipe, slightly used, for trim and to attach the cattle panel to the legs. I had to cut the 4’ cattle panels down to 3’ to make the rail the right height, so I used the left over 12” for a trellis around the bottom of the dome for the grapes to hang on as they grow around the dome. Some black paint, Tibby’s choice of color, and it was done.
Call me brilliant or call me a red neck, either way… I’m good with that.