Friday night we had a bad storm blow through. It threw lots of big sycamore limbs on the ground and ripped the plastic off one of our greenhouses.
This is the greenhouse where we keep all our supplies, the tractor, the packing area, transplants, soil amendments, building materials… basically everything our farm needs to run smoothly.
We also keep our refrigerators in here. Having the plastic ripped off in the middle of a thunderstorm was not ideal. Our onions and garlic were drying on the shelves. We spent an hour moving the onion and garlic trays into our only other covered space, the trailer. In the dark, in the middle of a windy, thunder and lightning storm. We were so lucky it didn’t rain. And that we didn’t get hit by lightning.
Replacing the plastic on this greenhouse was already on our to-do list, and we had all the materials to finish the job sitting around ready to go. We just needed a little time to complete the project. So having all our stuff exposed to the elements was a pretty good incentive to get the job done asap, and we have spent the past two days working to get it done. Until the plastic was on, we covered all the piles with tarps and scrap plastic, and taped up electrical sockets and the backs of the refrigerators.
First order of business was to get the place cleaned up. Wild blackberries have been growing like crazy in there, and it was my job to remove them.
An unpleasant task due to the sharp thorns! But there were a few ripe blackberries to eat while I got scraped up.
Gavin took off the remaining shreds of plastic and the wiggle wire holding it on. The western end-wall came off as well.
Next he put the framework up for the eastern end wall. We have had this side of the greenhouse open for the last three years since we have parked the tractor in there. Now it will be completely closed up. Gavin will have to finish our other ongoing project, the shed, so we will have a place to park the tractor under cover.
Gavin added purlins to the structure to beef it up a little more.
It is pretty rigid now.
The plastic roll is ready to go for the next morning.
Got up extra early today to get this project done.
Cutting the plastic to size. The remnants go on the end walls.
Pulling the plastic over the framework is a hard task with only two people. We ripped several holes in the plastic before we decided we had better cover up the sharp edges of the wiggle wire channels.
We used cardboard and painters tape. It worked very well and only took a few extra minutes to do. After that the plastic slid over the pipes without a hitch.
Gavin patching one of the holes.
The first layer of plastic is over the frame!
Locking it into place with wiggle wire.
Putting plastic on the end wall.
Several of the polycarbonate side panels blew out in the storm. We found most of them by the greenhouse, one up in the un-mown field near the fenced garden, and then we were still missing one. I found it this evening over in the flowers. It must be several hundred feet away from the greenhouse. Could this have been a tornado?
Gavin got all the plastic secured just as a another thunderstorm moved through tonight. This time we got a little rain, and it was great having all our junk protected from the weather!
As the rain moved on we put on the finishing touch, which was a section of shade cloth. This goes over our packing area to provide 50% shade. Otherwise it would be unbearably hot to work in there.
The storm was nerve-wracking but it made us finally complete this project: and now we have a spiffy new greenhouse! We are extremely grateful that we did not have more damage.