Extending the Growing Season

Originally published 10/25/2010

This past weekend, I went out to Wild Onion Farms in Johnston County, NC to help Elizabeth and Andy put the cover on the greenhouse.  Andy installed the solar panel driven fan that puts air in between the two sheets of plastic that cover the house to increase efficiency.

Elizabeth had us use a tennis ball method along with some brooms to pull the cover over the hoop frame. I was skeptical but in the end this low-tech method worked.

Basically, you tie the tennis balls into the plastic with a really long rope and then throw the rope over the frame and start pulling. For those of us height challenged, we got the brooms to help push the cover up and over. Not too glamorous, but plenty of fun all around through the process, twice; because you need dead air space to conserve heat in the winter.

Once the frame was covered, we applied batten tape, staples, and sticky zippers to each side for zip-up doors. I kid you not. There are sippers with heavy-duty tape on the one side that sticks to the plastic to make a roll-up door that is pretty air-tight.

As you can imagine, we were all pretty tired from working and laughing hard at this event and I’ll get some more pictures once Elizabeth has filled this “little” gem up with some plants so you can see more about how your food is grown… sustainably.

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