Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Hoophouse Husbandry

Started building a hoophouse yesterday, taking advantage of the thaw. Chickens also taking advantage. They took dirt baths, scratched around for bugs, sunned themselves happily. So did I. At least, I did the sunning happily part. I don't eat bugs, unless they're lobsters.

When Aimee and I build something, we usually start with a rough drawing. Aimee has a hard time reading them, imagining the results, but I can use the drawing to figure out construction and logistics problems ahead of time, and to cost out construction. Here's the latest. I did the drawing Monday night, built the building Tuesday. This is a temporary hoophouse, built up against a south facing barn wall that is a natural sun trap, so it cost next to nothing. I used leftover lumber scraps, an old roof ladder, and some free pallets and cheap plastic from Paul's Hardware in Brooks. The hoops are Aimee's 1 inch PVC pipe left over from marine biology projects. For some reason, marine scientists like to use PVC for all their projects.

Come late spring, when Aimee's tomato and pepper sprouts are in the ground, we'll take this hoophouse down again to allow Aimee to shingle that wall.

Two cords of firewood arrived the day before, from our very reliable firewood guy Russell Mitchell of Troy, Me. We have four cords cut off our own land, from fall thinning and clearing activities, in which the UC Woodsmen Club played a a leading role. But it isn't dry, and won't be until next fall, and we were running low on dry firewood, down to our last two cords, so we got some more in.

Aimee seems to like the new hoophouse. Good. We aim to please.

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