Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Greenhouse Project--Part 1

one of the plusses of the property we bought here in washington is a green house. it is an uninspired and less than optimal design, and is oriented less than ideally, but is still a substantial building and plainly useful. as built, the lower half of the walls were plywood, the upper half and the roof covered with corrugated, clear fiberglass or poly-something. i improved the design by extending the fiberglass down another two feet on two sides. it works quite well from just before spring equinox to just after fall equinox, but is pretty much in shade the rest of the year. that's because it is sited so poorly. too close to trees directly south of it. we had hoped that enough sun would reach it to keep greens growing all year. last winter dashed that idea.

the greenhouse is built around ten 6 " by 6 " posts sunk i don't know how far into the ground. i was loathe to consider moving it. i overcame my resistance. a mere 120' feet north, slightly east, and about 4 feet higher of its present location, when there is sun, it shines unimpeded by trees all year. here's the plan. cut the posts at ground level. slide 2" by 10" planks under the long sides and fasten them to the frame and posts. brace everything. lift it up enough to put sections of pipe, to serve as rollers, under the planks. tie off a come-along (hand winch) to a convenient tree and winch the thing along. when a roller (the pipe) comes out the back, move it to the front. did i mention that the building is 14' by 24'? i'll be relying on pictures to convey what i can't seem to quite get in text.

the first part of the project, bracing and cutting loose, is close to completion. i have successfully jacked up each long side in turn to slide planks under the severed posts. a bit more bracing and i'll be ready for phase two: moving. i almost waited till i had actually moved it at least a bit before posting here, but i am so encouraged by my progress so far that i'll ask any of you interested enough to read this far to share, in a small way, my anxiety about the moving part.

first, here's a picture of our yard at 9 am today. all that white frost out there cuts into my zeal for diving into this early.

the picture below was taken on dec 8. i am standing in sunlight, facing south, to take the picture. the greenhouse is completly shaded by the trees beyond. cut down those trees you say. we don't own them all, and we do like a bit of untended woods, even if not optimally placed.
here i am cutting one of the corner posts. the first. nine to go. that was last week.

the journey of the greenhouse to be continued...................
later---one side of the greenhouse is up on rollers. took a break and a walk. we found a new creekside trail. oh, you'll hear about it. and see pix. bonus hawk pic from our walk.


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