Tag Archives: sustainable lifestyle

Almost Ready

DSC_0604A view of the new nursery greenhouse from the street.

DSC_0607The 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.

DSC_0683Shelby/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.

DSC_0685This 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.DSC_0681

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!



Filed under Compost, Farm Hack, Four Season Gardening, Greenhouse, Spring, 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.

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Filed under Four Season Gardening, Greenhouse, Sustainability

Turning Our Backs to Separation

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!

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Filed under Lessons Learned, Sustainability, Uncategorized