Monday, November 24, 2008

Sealing the Deal

Sunday was a cold day for us on the farm, but we got a lot accomplished! This is Ben and I wearing our oober stylish safety goggles before building the ends for the hoop house out of 2x4's. The end closest to the field has a door frame we made and the side closest to the barn has a window frame. We will install those at a later date.

Here is Ben working on the door frame...

As we've been working on the hoop house, we've been getting to know Sunny better. In the past Sunny has been a little grumpy with me, so Ben thought it'd be good to bridge the gap and perhaps win him over... he just happened to have a 2x4 over his shoulder when he tried to forge that friendship. Sunny didn't seem to excited... we're going to keep working on him. We'll keep you posted.

Once we got the ends framed in it was time to get the hoop house grade plastic out of the ridiculous amounts of packaging it came in! You know what a pain it is to get a CD player out of the crazy thick plastic casing that surrounds it? Well, take that and multiply it by 10... I suggest taking a good hot relaxing bath before hand and turning on some soothing music when you start in on it. Go to your Zen place...

Once I got the plastic out of the tube of danger and mess that it came in, it was time to roll it out on the ground so it could go up on the frame..

Getting the plastic on the ends was a little challenging because there was this sneaky little wind that would creep up at the most inconvenient times and test our hand/arm strength... but we did it. The ends looked great.

After the ends were up and we had pulled the plastic over the top of the frame, mom and dad came out to hold the plastic in place while we secured it to the frame with this nifty little wire and channel combination called "wirelock".

Here's Ben putting the finishing touches on the hoop house as the sun was going down...

Overall it was a freezing, productive day! Now the hoop house is at least equipped to deal with the snow that I hear we're supposed to get this week. There's still more that needs to be done with it, but the awkward hard parts are over! Thank goodness!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


This past Sunday Ben and I ventured down to the farm to get a little more work done on the hoop house... Things are coming along slowly because there is a lot of trial and error, but we are making progress!

Since it was a nice day outside, Ben and I carried the table saw outside for ease of moving around. Ben cut all the 2x6's into correct sizes for the baseboards of the house while I pre-drilled and screwed the boards together.

We also raided the barn for doors and windows to put on the hoop house, and we came across the old mudroom door from the old part of the house. So we will be using that as our door. We decided to put the door end closest to the field so we can easily carry things in and out when we're transplanting.

At the end of the day the baseboards looked like this.

It really does take a long time to measure, cut, and connect these boards together but we are taking our time to make sure we do it right the first time... we're hoping to come back down on the 23rd to get the ends built and maybe even get the plastic on! Snow is on it's way and we need to get this covered before it arrives!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cold Metal

After a 2 week absence full of entymology projects and other homework we were happy to steal away from Burlington and spend some time with the hoop house! It's always refreshing to leave the busy bustle of the city and get back to the fresh air of our farm. We can't wait til we can be there everyday...

Yesterday we started putting up the arches after dealing with the remaining four ground posts that we struggled with during our last visit. Two of them went into the ground fairly easily after some careful manipulation of the rocky soil, but two of them refused to go down any further. So, being the resourceful efficient guy that he is, Ben decided that it would just be easier and a lot less of a pain to saw off the tops of the poles instead of frustrating ourselves any further... I supported him 100%. So that's him above, getting ready to saw off the tops of the two poles to get them down to the right height.

This is Jake(my brother) and I trying to push one of the arches into the ground post... it's a lot harder than it looks. Trying to get a curved end into a straight pole is not impossible, but we found that it's certainly a lot easier with two people.

I have to mention, that after struggling immensely with different methods of trying to get the ground posts in the ground and finally succeeding, I was looking through the bag of hardware that came with the hoop house, and found a huge bolt with a large washer on it... it was included for us to put on top of the poles to separate the hammer from the poles when we were
hammering, and I didn't notice it!! I said, "Oh no, Ben, look!" And he knew right away that I had failed to notice the one apparatus that would have made getting the poles in the ground 100 times simpler for us. He playfully put his hood up and curled up in a ball on the ground with his hands on his head... "Ben, I'm so sorry!" I laughed hysterically "I didn't see this til just now!!" "Don't talk to me right now" he smiled. One of my less intelligent moments, but Ben was so good about laughing it off instead of getting mad at me. I'm confident that after that situation we are going to be a great farming pair. Being able to laugh at ourselves when we make a ridiculous error like that gives me confidence that we can do anything together.

Once we got the poles into the ground we were able to put up the straight center pole that connects each of the arches together. Next Sunday we'll be buying lumber to frame in the base of the greenhouse as well as build the ends and a door. Hopefully, if all goes well, we can get the plastic on too. We'll keep you posted!