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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Greenhouse - reclaimed windows, plywood, lumber

It was a driving, Spring rain when Little man and I returned to the farm last night.  He played in the garage while I set about on evening chores.  When Zeb and Sandwich were fed and watered, the chickens fed and watered and the eggs collected, I took a walk across the driveway to the better than halfway finished greenhouse.

I stepped inside and stood between the raindrops.  The pitch of the roof is not ideal, however, it is built to the length of materials I had sufficient quantity of to make a roof.  Available window sizes were not matched to the rafter length so patching will be required with half windows or poly-carbonate sheets. She isn't square and any contractor worth his training would shake his head and walk away after looking at how she is constructed.

Another ten to fourteen hours of work will be required to put on the last of the windows for the roof, the side windows and the door.  There is a little patching on one or two broken panes and then the caulking/flashing of the roof so that it doesn’t leak like a colander but is limited to a few drips here and there.  The the windows will need a good scrubbing. When that is done, I will start seeds.  They will be started well over a month late and will be complemented with some plant starts traded for with friends and acquired from the farmers market to ensure sufficient production for our consumption and preserving.  Tomatoes and peppers will be grown all season in the greenhouse in hopes of increasing our yields.  The rhubarb that didn’t get moved out of the hoop house last fall will also stay inside until it is done producing and will get moved at the end of the summer.

Raised beds will be added on the sides and in the middle as time permits this summer and fall. Wall and roof supports will be constructed to support next winters’ snow load.  Brick flooring will be laid on top of gravel or sand for heat retention.  Shelves will be installed over the raised beds and a rain catchment system added along with a black collection barrel for additional heat retention.  There will be at least one compost pile inside for heat and I hope to obtain some poly-carbonate sheets to help protect the roof a little better.

I will post pictures of the project as it progresses throughout the summer.  She isn’t pretty, but she will last me several years to come if I keep up with the regular maintenance.  The dirt spot on the left of this picture is where the first, small greenhouse came down (there is a little bit of size difference between the two).  The only thing rotten on that were the foundation boards where it sat directly on the ground.  Most of that wood and many of the unbroken windows have been re-purposed in this greenhouse.  

Next month’s big project - the chicken plucker.

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