Friday, December 22, 2017

Building (digging?) a greenhouse

There used to be a little house (camp) on the property. It had burned out and the owners bulldozed it down, but there was enough evidence to tell where the edges were. There was also quite a bit of debris - old bed springs, stove parts, glassware, bottles, etc. Since I wanted my garden on that section of the property we've been slowly clearing it out and cleaning it up. This actually required quite a bit of digging as the land is uneven and the stone foundation walls of the old camp are still present in places.

We'd already cleared the main cabin area and left that as a step-up from what will be the main section of the garden. This was, unfortunately, the best photo I could find of the step-up. It's the view from the east and the main garden will be to the north of that. Chris built up the stairs and restacked the wall that separates the step-up from the main (it's covered in debris and grass in the photo - oops).

Chris was working on leveling the main part of the garden when he found another wall edge. And as he was digging it, the ground sort of collapsed a bit, and he found an old stairwell. He kept digging and clearing and pushing and eventually found the edges of a basement. Cool! We immediately decided that was too good to pass up and decided to build...something. But what? Root cellar? Too far from the house. Plus I do still want the garden there. So we decided on a greenhouse. Specifically a pit greenhouse. Stone walls below grade, then either stone or cordwood knee-walls, then glass upper walls and roof. Needless to say, this will be a slow moving project.
Original walls and destroyed stairwell behind Chris
Remember this area had been burned out and bull dozed so there was a tremendous amount of clean up to do. 
Cleaning out
And then Chris got started building the other walls from stone we scavenged from around the property.
Defining the walls
 He replaced the stone slabs for the stairwell first.
New old stair treads
And then started building walls.
Lots of stacking going on
You can see the chicken coop just behind the tractor and the chicken pasture / fruit garden is there too. This is going to be quite a complex when it's done - upper garden/patio, vegetable garden, greenhouse, chicken coop, and fruit garden.

He got about 2/3 done with the below-grade walls before other tasks and weather pulled him away. So this will move to the top of next summer's project list. Maybe I'll be able to plant some cold weather crops next year! Kale in December! Ah, to dream.

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