Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A massive erection

No, it's not what you think. It's a big ol' greenhouse!

I'm finally getting around to posting about the greenhouse film installation which we did just days before Chris' hospital stay in February. This was something that we really wanted to get done and as I think back about that time now I can't believe we actually did it. I'm sure glad we did though because we have enjoyed fresh greens for the last month or so now and we've even sold some at the market--all possible because of the greenhouse.

Even though Chris was in terrible pain he crutched out there to coordinate the project. The kids were on hand to help, along with our friend Crystal and our helper Jason. The first step was to roll out the film. Note the chicken in Eliza's arms.

We used baseballs and rope to tie the film in three places before pulling it up and over the frame. Basically you bunch some of the film around a baseball and then tie a rope around the ball. This prevents tearing and works really well. Jason, Crystal, and Scotty each took a rope while I ran around making sure the film unfolded properly and didn't get caught on anything. Chris had camera duty. Click on the photo to see Scotty at his post at the back. He was a great help that day!Of course once we got the film up and over the wind started to kick up. The film had to be held down at the back until we got it clipped into place, which was a perfect job for Chris and the kids.

We almost lost it a couple of times but we got the clips in place. Chris designed a rainwater catchment system on this greenhouse complete with gutters so the film got clipped in just above the gutters. Underneath the gutters the film rolls up to provide cross ventilation.

The greenhouse measures 24' x 60' and is almost as big as the house! Before the day's end we had to cover the front with film because at this point it was just a giant wind sock sitting in the field. The piece of film was fastened from the bottom up with furring strips.

In order to fasten the film, Jason needed Crystal, Scotty and me to hold it up for him from underneath. We took the opportunity to toss the camera back and forth for some fun pictures.

A harrowing but ultimately successful day.


Alan Post said...

We probably won't get to it this year, but I'd like to expand our own greenhouse operation like you've done.

I was inspired after being given some very heavy duty tent stakes: 2 feet long. I tried to imagine what kind of tent I would want to build and from there got inspired to build a greenhouse.

This looks amazing! I want a photo of it filled with greens :-)

James said...

Looks cool! All the best to you.

You look great in your pic!


Jenny said...

Hey James! Good to hear from you! Are you working these days? Drop me an email at flamencamama at comcast dot net sometime.