Thursday, January 26, 2012

And we're done - well almost

The view from the end of the driveway

***I started this blog a few days ago and am just finally getting it posted***

I'm sitting here typing waiting for the boys to wake up and looking outside to a very green looking January 26th. It was been a very strange winter so far with pretty mild temperatures, not great for the local ski hill (which I'm employed part time) but its been great for us being able to get work done on the greenhouse. We finally got the plastic on so I can now say the greenhouse is officially done, well officially sort of. We still need to get the end doors installed and of course now we need to plan and focus on the inside stuff like benches and stuff like that but for now the greenhouse is covered and we are so glad!!

We had been planning on putting the first layer of plastic on the greenhouse last Saturday (January 20th) morning but the weather was calling for snow the night before so we decided last minute to do it Friday morning. Derek was home anyway as it was his day off and we had Larry coming anyway to close in the end doors with plywood until the doors get installed. We got ahold of my Dad and my uncle who were working on a tractor just down the road and called my Mom to watch the boys while I went to help. Derek's brother was also going to come out later on. The winds were about 15km/h when we started which was fine but as soon as we got started they started to pick up. We had read lots of info about how to put plastic on a greenhouse and the biggest piece of advice was to it when the winds were calm. Well the weather forecast seemed ok but we should have know better. The winds picked up and that sheet of plastic started acting as a bit of a sail.

The other problem was the way we had decided to pull the plastic over. We talked to some folks and read a bunch of methods online and decided to pull a rope over and pull the plastic over with someone using a stick underneath helping the plastic to go over the hoops. Well that turned out to be NOT a very good idea. The plastic was too heavy and would not easily pull over. We ended up putting some not so nice stretch marks along several parts of that sheet. About forty five minutes in I was tempted to just tell everyone to let it go and let the wind take it where it wanted. But I got on the phone and called my brother and he and my other uncle came over and gave us an extra hand. It was still hairy but we managed to get it on and fastened down with the channel lock. The winds had gotten pretty strong by the time that was done so there was no chance of doing the second layer.

First layer all done, very stressfull!!!

Monday (Jan 23rd) morning we started again but this time with more hands right at the first and with 15km wind forecasted until noon. We put 5 ropes over the first layer and pulled the second layer over in about 3 minutes, brilliant!! It took another hour or so to get all the channel lock on and everything tightened up. Derek cut a small hole in the first layer of plastic and hooked up the inflator fan which blows air between the two layers keeping the plastic fairly tight and ridgid to keep it from flopping around against the hoops of the greenhouse.

We must have pulled the top of the plastic a bit too tight as we could not get the opposite side of the greenhouse to inflate. We made a quick call to the greenhouse company and they suggested putting a piece of hose along the top to create a spot for the air to go across to inflate the opposite side. Derek found a piece of pipe insulation and put it up and it inflated right away. It's been a little over a week since both layers have been on and I'm still noticing that sometimes the opposite side does not seem as inflated as the first side. We might have to make some small adjustments to get that working better.

Second piece of plastic waiting to be installed

Allan and Ronald finishing up the South side

Andrew and Mark getting the north side all tight

Pulling the plastic tight and putting on the wiggle wire

We had lots of help, we were very grateful!!

Finishing the east end

Going in to check it out after the plastic was installed

The inflator fan

Ben & Jake love going in there with their trucks as its great fun driving back and forth, there is a bit of ice in there as well so its a bit of a skating rink at times. We haven't had that much sun this week, just a bit here and there so it hasn't been that warm in there yet.

Looks like they are playing "chicken"

Enjoying a nice bit of afternoon sun climbing on the swing set

We still have to wait to get the end doors installed and as soon as the frost is out of the ground we'll be thinking of planting. We have to decide what kind of benches we are going to build for our transplants but we're thinking for now just cinder blocks and pallets.

So we're not completely finished but it sure feels great to have the plastic on. Just want to say a quick thanks to everyone who's helped us during this latest adventure!!
Gordon Waugh, Andrew Waugh, Allan Waugh, Ronald Waugh, John Campbell, Mark Bernard, Larry Lecky, Gerry Reicheld, Natalie Woodburn-Heron, Andrew Chappel, Mike Cormier and of course my Mom who got those last minute early morning phone calls to come watch the boys.

***January 31st update***

We had some really nice sun yesterday and the thermometer was reading 29degress but that's not really an accurate reading since it was in the sun. But it sure felt nice but now the ice of the above picture is now a foot of water, not so nice!!

Beautiful sunny day

Very muddy boots

Mud bath anyone??

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Greenhouse setback

Greenhouse setback. We were told our big end doors would be ordered on Friday and installed this week. We got a call yesterday that the order was missed and it will now be three weeks!!! Grrrrrrrr.

At least its not April!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Another greenhouse update

Just a quick greenhouse update for all our readers. I unfortunately do not have any pictures as I'm having trouble getting them from Derek's phone to the computer. Derek updated our computer, again, and its giving me grief!!!

Our two big garage doors are set to be installed this week which we are very excited and nervous about. It seems that we may have not paid as much attention as we should have to things being square and level as our man door did not get installed as perfectly as it should have. We thought we did a good job but the man door sticks out about an inch on the bottom left hand side, grrrr. Derek thinks he can fix it, so here hoping. We think everything else is finished including checking for sharp edges, covering the 2X6 posts on the end walls with pieces of plastic and finishing up the last few screws on the end walls. Hopefully once the doors are installed we will be able to put the plastic on. So we are hoping for some really calm days and preferably no snow!!!! I don't think that's alot to ask for in January, do you??

I'm back to work at the ski park which is a nice break but also throws a loop in greenhouse building and garden planning. We haven't had very much snow on the Island so far this season but I would imagine it will start any time. Hopefully it will just wait until the plastic is finished on the greenhouse.

I'll try and post a few pictures as soon as I figure out my computer issues!!!