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Greenhouse Catchup Summary

We have been silent for a while, but it's because we have been busy! So I have a lot of catch-up to do on this blog...

The following is a summary of our progress, with links to more of the details for those of you who really want to nerd-out with us! Unfortunately, I don't think I can "hide" the detailed posts, but please do feel free to ignore them! ...and for those of you curious to see our day-by-day chronological accounting, as always you can go to the Timeline page.

This month we installed the siding on our greenhouse.

I had some hearty anxiety dreams the night before we started this task, imagining the two of us struggling to hoist the very heavy, sharp-edged, 12-foot steel panels up over our heads (eleven feet above the floor) until we could get screws in. The anxiety came in handy because in the wee hours of the morning I conceived, imagined, redesigned, reimagined, and refined, the sling pictured below. It did the job! Our jugulars remained intact throughout.

If you're interested, here is some more detail on siding installation.

We installed the Lexan glazing on the south wall of the greenhouse.

Moving six-by-fourteen-foot flexible sheets of Lexan is a challenge in even a light breeze, so we had to start and stop this job over several windy days. As with almost every other repetitive task during greenhouse construction, the first panel was our experiment to try to understand the job and make a plan. The second panel was a test of the plan. Then we could move on in production mode.

For those who want it, here is some more detail on Lexan installation.

We also designed and framed the end walls.

The greenhouse kit includes some steel tubing and attachment plates for building the end walls, but leaves the design up to the owners. We found the perfect doors at ReStore in Albuquerque, and designed the walls around them. Chip built the door jambs and steel framing, and we set the posts in concrete.

If you want to hear all about it, here is more detail on framing the end walls. Next we'll look for windows, and add the framing for those, plus whatever infill framing we need to support the siding.

We spent a bit more time preparing for planting.

We added another layer of soil amendments... coffee, ash, horse manure, garden compost, and wood chips. I wanted to get another layer spread on before closing up the structure. I was able to fork in deeply and did that for the first couple of greenhouse bays,, and thought I'd stay a step ahead of the Lexan as we moved along. As it turned out, the resulting fluffy deep soil which is great for a garden, was not great for a construction zone, so we decided to just live with the awkwardness of working under the walls when it finally comes time to plant.

Ike started noshing on the weeks-old bokashi-fermented food waste bits that he could find in the beds. Eww.

A few days later, cold and snow stopped our building progress. When icicles covered our light strings, I took refuge with the indoor task of

building ollas for watering.

For the olla low-down, check out more detail on ollas.

Another indoor task we took care of this month was placing some online plant orders. We'll have eight trees coming from Four Winds Growers in California: limes, oranges, figs, a yuzu, and a tangelo. We will also have two avocados, a banana, and a dragonfruit coming from Fast Growing Trees in Florida. Both orders will arrive in late March. Hopefully we'll be able to find lemon(s) or grapefruit(s) to fill up the last couple spaces!

...and hopefully the greenhouse will be fully operating and ready by the time our new trees arrive!

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Kimi BrownKawa
Kimi BrownKawa
Feb 28, 2020

Yeah, it seemed like it snowed every week or two, but we also had 50+ degree days in between. It did alow us down a lot, but that means it also gave us an opportunity to shower, do dishes, go into town to pick stuff uo, etc. I sure hope we are in a house next winter, though!


Jeez, it looks like you have had more snow there this year and us in New England! Can't wait to see this!


Bruce Ishikawa
Bruce Ishikawa
Feb 26, 2020

Wow! Lots of progress!

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