Okay… It’s been a busy, crazy couple months. A lot has happened and I’ve only actually been a part of about half of it. But this morning it’s catch up time… or maybe ketchup time… I don’t know… something like that.
But… It’s Friday (okay… well.. it WAS Friday…). I have the day off. Having today off is very very good. I can take the day to do very little and relax a bit… maybe feel a little less like I’ve been run over by a herd of elephants.
BUT… the update…
I attended the first variance meeting to discuss putting in the greenhouse. I was pleasantly surprised. The people in the meeting didn’t really seem too concerned about it once they found out it wouldn’t be housing gasoline, that there would not be heat or electricity run to it, and that it is clear Plexiglas not a brick structure (because brick greenhouses are so useful… ).
So the initial meeting went very well. They mailed out the notifications to everyone within 500 feet of our property (I kind of wonder what the church thought when they got the notification). And we waited the three weeks for the next building board meeting.
I was in Las Vegas for that one… I was attending Collaborate 16 and learning as much about Oracle Databases as humanly possible in five easy days. It was a long week. Bear attended the meeting and it went amazingly well. The new neighbor showed up and gave his support to the greenhouse and let us know that he would really really like to have the tree cut down next to his house on our property. I THINK there was an ulterior motive in him showing up but that could just be my inner cynic.
There is some irony in my going to Collaborate. I went to yoga (free and provided by one of the vendors there) every morning. That landed me a shiny new yoga mat (with the vendor’s name emblazoned on the end) that I managed to get into my suitcase and home. That yoga mat got a HUGE workout in the greenhouse adventure. It saved knees from mud and rocks for days and days. It’s been hosed off more than once from the mud and is (even now) hanging on the back of the chair on the deck drying from its final yesterday scrubbing. It was REALLY muddy yesterday
Wait 20 days for your building permit.
Really? 20 more days? But it was approved…
But they could change their minds.
So we waited. The greenhouse lay in boxes in the garage. We got the footer ready for the greenhouse. We bought a reciprocating saw, bunches of saw blades and drill bits. Bear dug the footer and I did the math figuring out how to do it all. We poured bags of sand and cement and rocks. We drilled and hammered and bolted things fast. We put down landscaping cloth and stones. And we waited.
Tuesday this week found us at the 20 day mark. So I took Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off to build the greenhouse. I called the city offices on Wednesday morning. They didn’t have clue one what I was talking about and pretty much nothing was in the computer system that we actually even HAD the variance meetings or that we were approved. We got the phone call saying come pay us for the permit, but apparently that never made it into their computer system.
They need a way better method of approvals.
Wednesday we started erecting the beast. We squared and leveled. We drilled and bolted and put together a giant erector set. I know that kind of dates me because I don’t even think they make erector sets any more but it is what it most closely reminded me of.
Some of the instructions are confusing. None of the instructions have any words. It is all pictures with arrows and check marks and x marks. We made a few mistakes along the way and had to back track a bit.
The door was the biggest issue… It took forever to get the hinges hung right so the door would actually work and keep the freaking deer out. BUT through much trial and error… we got the door on, it opens and closes and you can even lock it with a padlock. I’m not sure what good that would do since you could just cut the plastic out and crawl in if you wanted to break into it… but… hey… it IS a feature.
They advertise it takes two people about 4 to 6 hours to build the greenhouse.
We started at about 10 on Wednesday. We had to take a couple breaks for the rain on Wednesday. We chucked it in when I started to get frustrated about 4. Started again bright and early Thursday morning. Finished up the last shelf at about 6 Thursday night. It was a LONG 4 to 6 hours. BUT it is up. It is neat. I have the coolest walk way ever to it. AND I even have moved some plants in, mostly to store them before I can put them out in the front yard. They are hardy enough that even a colder snap shouldn’t hurt them and they are SUPPOSED to be deer resistant. Who knew that deer don’t like marigolds.
Now I need the nights to be just a little less chilly so my tomatoes start to take off.
I’m going to start potting up some plants and moving them out of the house and into the greenhouse. I think some of them will do better out there and I can reclaim some of my living room space.
This morning, I went out and sat in the camp chair for a little while in it but it is still just a little chilly in the mornings to be really comfortable out there.
Lessons learned… aluminum hurts when you get cuts… it’s really dirty when you work with it… and I honestly don’t think the greenhouse would stop a bullet like the videos show. BUT it is higher than I thought it would be. It will be comfortable to work in and I am hoping against hope to get some really good tomatoes and peppers at the very least out of this this year. AND… I’m already planning for NEXT spring.