Posts Tagged ‘construction’

We put the plastic on the hoophouse yesterday! Many thanks to the crew:  Dave Hanlon (holding Lila Dalen), Elden, Rick Dalen, Janaki Fisher-Merritt, Sara & Matt Weik, Karola Dalen, Tyreese, and Sampson The Dog. The process went really well, as far as I’m concerned. Elden and I rolled out the plastic and folded it in half to make a double-strength sheet 48′ x 50′, then tied 3 tennis balls onto the leading edge of the plastic and threw the ropes over the structure. When the crew arrived, we pulled the plastic over the top and everybody helped attach the sides and ends using a wirelock system. Piece of cake.

Karola photographed the whole process, lent a hand when needed, and watched Lila all at the same time — thanks!

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Windy Weekend

Elden and I put plastic on the endwalls of the hoophouse this weekend at Stone’s Throw Farm, but it was too windy to put the big, 2-layer piece of plastic over the top. We really need a very calm day to do that, so cross your fingers that one will appear soon!

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Happy Spring!

It’s the first official day of spring, and it actually feels like spring around here for once. The cove is no longer snow-covered, and the fields are drying out. The deer are dancing around the turn-around at the end of our driveway . . . or so it seems, based on their tracks.

This afternoon I helped Elden put the doors on the north side of the hoophouse. With a few repairs, we were able to reuse the doors that came with the structure. I hope we’ll have nice weather next weekend — I’d love to get the plastic on the hoophouse.

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Germination Station

Yesterday Elden finished this fancy seed germination station that he built for me and set up in our basement. Nice, eh? I don’t have the bottom heat yet but otherwise it’s all ready for starting seeds. It fits 5 standard-sized trays. The height of the lights can be adjusted and there’s room for another shelf below this one if I decide I need more room.

There’s only one way to find out if it works. In a week, if the onion seeds and heat mat have arrived, I’ll give it a try.

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The greenhouse has bright and shiny wirelock brackets now. (For those of you who don’t know, wirelock is an aluminum channel that you put the plastic over, then insert special wiggle wire–or “wiggly wire,” as E says–into the channel to secure the plastic.)
We’re afraid to put the plastic on because we don’t have electricity yet, and therefore no way to inflate the two layers of plastic this winter. Maybe it wouldn’t matter, but that plastic is expensive.
We still have no address, but now we can tell people to look for the greenhouse on the right.

Just add fire, E.

Here’s a look at the rye. It looks pretty good in the field by the road.


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Thanks to some amazing 50-degrees and sunny weather (and Elden being able to take a day off work on Tuesday), we got our hoophouse frame up! This hoophouse will be a multi-purpose greenhouse for a while–I’ll use it for starting plants and I’ll also plant some tomatoes in the soil inside. Instead of plowing it, I spread some topsoil that the excavator piled up for me during the driveway construction (the driveway has been completed, by the way–see photo of the turnaround in the woods below). John recommended this to me because it will help the site to drain better if it is a bit elevated, and it will kill the grass underneath without disturbing the soil structure, worm pathways, etc. Setting the foundation posts was, of course, tons of fun, and despite our best efforts to keep the tops of the posts from getting bent out of shape during the pounding, we had to do some filing and hammering to get the hoops into the foundation posts, but it wasn’t too bad.

I am incredibly relieved to have this much progress done. The weather is supposed to be halfway decent this weekend, so Elden and I should get some work done on the endwalls.

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With lots of encouragement from Dave Hanlon of the Food Farm, I bought a 30′ x 40’greenhouse from a nice guy in Gary. Dave then gallantly helped Elden, our friend Greg, and I dismantle the greenhouse on a cold Saturday (thanks, guys!). Elden and I moved it out to the unnamed farm and stacked all the materials for now….

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