April 5, 2010

A new (sort of) beginning

There are two types of people in this world...those who dream and hope for things to happen and those who make things happen. In the past, I've been one of the former in a lot of situations. But lately, I've begun to feel that, while I've done and experienced many things in my life, if I had taken a few small steps, I could have done so much more.

One example of this is my desire to have a small green house or high tunnel. I've been dreaming about one for a long time and have actually drafted plans for one made of recycled glass. The problem was that I needed help and materials to build it. And mostly, if I had one, I didn't have the other. Too often, I allow my lack of ability to have/make things following my idea of the perfect solution to keep me from having it at all. So, this year, after seeing a very ambitious and inventive young friend pull a simple but effective one together, I'm inspired! There are a couple ways to start. Being the pack rat that I am(much to my husband's chagrin), I have some things on hand that may work very well.

For starters, we have a very nice dog kennel that we use once or twice each year if we're away over night or if we have a batch of new peeps. So, why not make it useful for a longer period of time? The changes required to make it into a green house would only add to it's usefulness for our dog and chickens. And it would still be movable so we wouldn't have to worry about having a mess inside.

When our well pump was pulled and replaced, they also replaced the long, black, well pipe. Instead of throwing it away, I've used sections from it to make mini plastic tunnels over early garden beds in the past. They work very well on raised beds. But we have enough left to make a hoop roof over the dog kennel that would allow the rain to run off.

Years ago, we had a small metal shed that collaped under the weight of a very heavy snowfall. Rather than throw the parts away, we've used the panels to put a roof on our treehouse, cover wood piles and make a small removable roof for our maple sugar evaporator in case we get caught in the rain before we reached the syrup stage. The skeleton from this shed has been lying around behind the garage and I've been threatened more than once that it was going to disappear! The ribs from the roof of the shed made great strengthening beams for the black plastic hoops, just the right length! Now we have a roof frame and need to cover it with clear plastic.

I have some older wooden tables that I used in my craft tent years ago. If I cover them with plastic, using them in the greenhouse won't hurt them. Now we have to put it all together. My oldest daughter has been helping me and we hope to finish it in the next few days. She's been taking step by step pictures.

We need to figure out how to regulate the heat. I'd like to make a vent in the roof or on the sides of the hoop roof that we can open and close easily.

Because we have a roll of plastic from making the mini tunnels, I think we can build this green house with little or no outside cost by putting things we already have on hand to better use and recycling things I've salvaged or scrounged. A very satisfying feeling.

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