Tag Archives: heated greenhouse

Greenhouse Progress…

DSC_0567 Neat, huh? The concrete on the North side has been painted black to absorb more of the sun’s heat.

DSC_0568The blower has a temperature controller to turn it on to a certain setting.

DSC_0564Soon, a compost pile will be built to cover this welded steel tube to circulate air pulled from inside, through the pile to be warmed, and then back into the greenhouse. DSC_0562Meanwhile, Andrew and Conor from Black Earth Compost brought their clatterbox. It’s not really called a clatterbox, it’s a device that’s going to help them to screen out the fines to bag up the compost for sale. It’s going to be an infernal machine. Loud and clackety. But it should do the job once it’s all welded up. Check them out at www.blackearthcompost.com.


Did I mention that half the compost is for us to use on the farm? So far they’ve made about 200 cu yds of rich, black, nutritious “black gold” for our gardens and fields.DSC_0571

All of these young men are coming up with innovative “farm hacks” on a daily basis.

DSC_0570The Spring-like weather of late has made the ground approaching the compost into a quagmire. We will be putting down some stones to create a road out there. It’s time to build that road, as we plan to keep hosting these folks in their endeavor. It’s become a great partnership! Yesterday, Andrew and I went around to a few restaurants in Gloucester and met with great success. We’ll be bringing our vegetables this summer to Plum Cove Grind in Lanesville. They are going to use some for their salads and lunch offerings, and also sell retail, as well as become a drop site for CSA shares.

The Gloucester House wants our veggies too. This is huge, as this very busy seafood restaurant serves 1500 on a busy Saturday night. At first I was skeptical that this would be a good fit. But they assured us that we won’t have to supply all their veggie needs, and they will be happy to work with us on whatever we can provide. They will even come to the Cape Ann Farmer’s Market on Thursdays to pick up their order! They plan to develop some “local” offerings, such as a salad with our greens mix, along with whatever other vegetables we can supply them throughout the summer. This is a wonderful development for us. It’s going to be a big year!

DSC_0572Meanwhile, inside the large hoop house, the spinach is ready for harvest. Delicious!


Filed under Compost, CSA Shares, Farm Hack, Greenhouse, Sustainability

Covering Up Ahead of the Storm- Phase 2

Happy New Year! On the first day of 2014, in the waning hours of daylight, some very good friends braved the cold to help us get the first layer of plastic on the new nursery greenhouse. We wanted it to get it on ahead of the giant N’or Easter that is snowing down on us today.  They’re predicting over a foot of snow, and now we won’t have to shovel as much to continue working! There’s still lots more to do before we can make this a working, heated nursery!DSC_0488

Over the past few days the guys have been preparing: framing in the ends and installing double channel over the curved arch, and along both sides. Later, they’ll build removable end walls to allow venting in the heat of summer. For now, they’ll seal off the ends with plastic, and install a person-sized entry door. The knee-wall on the south side of the house is open framed, and the extra plastic will be rolled up on a system that will allow more venting along the entire side.

Before the plastic installation, a small fire gave off just enough heat to warm our hands.


Meet Colton Russell, our newest farmer, born two days before Thanksgiving. He came outside to check on his father’s handiwork. It won’t be long before he’s pitching in on one of the many projects around here.


Bill and Mike and Dan are installing the last pieces of double channel that holds the plastic in place.DSC_0469

It was a bit of a challenge to hold on to the giant piece of plastic during installation. Under ideal conditions, you want a calm day with no wind. Yesterday was not bad, but not quite ideal. Most of the day was cold and windy, but the wind died down enough late in the day to make this operation at least possible. We fought with a few good gusts to keep everything in place long enough to install all the wiggle wire that holds the plastic firmly in place inside the channel.DSC_0475

Nancy noted that the temperature was warmer inside, mostly because it was out of the wind.


While all of this was going on, Andrew and Justin (two of the Black Earth Compost guys who do our compost operation here, more on that later…) delivered their skid-steer, a machine that will allow them to push compostable materials against the concrete wall along the north side of the greenhouse. But before that, a large steel manifold will be bolted in place along that wall, to allow warm airflow from the compost pile to passively heat the greenhouse.

Leave a comment

Filed under Four Season Gardening, Greenhouse, Sustainability