A view of the new nursery greenhouse from the street.
The steep pitch sheds the snow pretty well. We still need a warm, calm day to install the second layer of plastic.
A great deal has been accomplished in the past few weeks. Tables have been built…
And topped with wire for good drainage.
Shelby/Vanna, shows off the tables that are all done. Moisture-proof wiring and lights have all been installed. Black painted barrels are ready to be filled with water, once the compost is in place behind the north wall. The barrels will absorb heat from the sun during the day, and then give it off slowly during the night.
This is the blower with a thermostat for circulation of air from inside the greenhouse, through the compost behind the wall and back inside. About half of the compost is on site here, being mixed and readied.
Meanwhile, there are several roofs to be fixed. The shed roof was in horrible condition, leaking badly and nearly ready to collapse. Once this project is done, we will have a pitched dormer over a new loading dock accessing the back door of the cooler. They are also building some dry storage for boxes of tomatoes, onions, and other things that don’t go into the cooler, but which need a cool dry place away from the sun. The next roof on the list is the one over the chicken coop.
As part of the long range plan, we will move the chickens out of the barn completely and use their space for something else. Arks, or moveable chicken tractors will be built so the chickens can be moved about to forage and fertilize, and then parked next to the barn where they’ll be easily accessed during the winter months.
New timbers and framing were needed to keep the roof from falling in! This project happened just in time before the foot+ of snow we are getting today, and the potential for even more big snow forecast for Sunday!
Neat, huh? The concrete on the North side has been painted black to absorb more of the sun’s heat.
The blower has a temperature controller to turn it on to a certain setting.
Soon, 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. Meanwhile, 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.
All of these young men are coming up with innovative “farm hacks” on a daily basis.
The 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!
Meanwhile, inside the large hoop house, the spinach is ready for harvest. Delicious!
Happy New Year, and welcome 2014!
It’s a clean slate, and we all get to write on it. What’s this year ahead going to look like? We can only wait and see, but in the meantime, we’ve got a greenhouse to build and seeds to order…
Reblogging this from Ben Hewitt, Thank you Ben!