The next step in this process is to build a hoop house to start our seedlings in. Building the hoop house involves two major steps.
- Clearing the area.
- Actually building the hoop house.
Clearing the area wasn’t too difficult but it was very time and work intensive. We had to knock down an old dugout using nothing but a sledgehammer. The wall came down pretty easily but that’s only half the work, moving all the bricks out by hand was probably more physically stressful than the actual hammer swinging. After all the blocks were cleared out of the way we had to get a few posts and stumps out of the ground. Fortunately we were able to use our truck to pull everything out. We didn’t get it on the first time through but after a lot of hacking with a pickaxe and pulling with the truck we were able to get everything we needed out of the way.
Phase two is building the actual hoop house. We’re not carpenters or construction workers by trade but after looking at a bunch of different plans online we felt confident enough to go ahead and buy the materials. The concept is simple enough: wood bottom frame, PVC pipes arched together, and a clear plastic wrapped around the whole thing. The most challenging aspect of the construction is the fact that it’s bigger than anything I’ve ever built before. We’re aiming for a 17’x30′ hoop house so it’s definitely a pretty large structure. The ground is also not quite even which adds a level of difficulty, it’s close so the leveling can be done by shovels and pickaxe but it would have been nice had the ground been level to start. Alas, you can’t have it all.
I’ve attached a few pictures to give people an idea of what we’re up to. I’ll add a few more when we finish assuming we’re able to complete the project. Aside from the greenhouse things are moving along quite nicely; we are close to finishing up the lease and are working to get power into the 2-story building so we can build a walk in cooler for our produce. Our goal is to have the hoop house done by the end of next week and power in the building by mid-January.