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Propagation Hoop House and Parents

June 30, 2013
The propagation hoop house today

The propagation hoop house today

It is hot today. It is hard to believe the hot weather is coming so early this year, after several years without much heat all summer. I hope all those warm season crops are enjoying the heat.

Replacing the plastic, on a beautiful weekend in February.

Replacing the plastic, on a beautiful weekend in February.

Last week, my parents came to visit and help us with a project, and just in time for this heat. My dad volunteered to help us with wiring in an exhaust fan and vents for our propagation hoop house. Since February, Steven and I have been working on upgrading one of the hoop houses into a propagation house and temporary packing area. First, we took off the old plastic and put on a new double layer, with a fan to put air between the layers, for a little extra insulation during the cold months. Then, over the course of the next few months, Steven framed in a new 36 inch exhaust fan and two 36 inch intake vents, to help cool the temperatures on those sunny days. We set up the packing area, adding gravel to level the ground and making small repairs. Everything was looking good, but I knew the hot weather was coming and those hoop houses sure can heat up. We put up a shade cloth over the propagation hoop house, which made a significant difference in the temperatures inside. Then, Steven took a week off work to help my dad wire in the fan and vents and put in electrical outlets along the length of the hoop house. Just in time. That hoop house is still hot, but I can’t say how much hotter it would be without the ventilation. Thanks, Dad!

The exhaust fan, wired in and in action.

The exhaust fan, wired in and in action.

And thanks to my mom, we have June’s Corner Garden cotton bags again! Quite a few of the bags split at the seams when I washed them. I kept all those bags, thinking some winter I was going to sew them up. That never happened. But, my sister stopped by a few weeks ago and took a box of bags needing repair to my mom. She sewed them up and brought them back last week. Yeah! And though she didn’t work on the wiring (nor did I), she did seed the next batch of lettuce and basil, and the the fall kale, which are already germinating. She also picked peas, did a bunch of weeding, found the biggest slug I have seen on the farm to date, and washed lots of dishes. Thanks, Mom!

The intake vents

The intake vents

Ever helpful, Steven’s dad has been making weekly treks to Rickreall to work on the farm. He planted all the apple trees we brought with us (about 60 of them) and has kept them watered. He is keeping the grass mowed and working on those gophers with the Rodenator. And did I mention that he helped me plant potatoes and later hoed and hilled them? I don’t know how we would keep up without him. Thanks, Dale! And Steven’s mom, though she hasn’t been out to weed, she has been my best customer the past several years. What is she doing buying vegetables? Shouldn’t she get them for free? We think so, but she insists on buying them and they eat a lot of vegetables. Thanks, Bonnie!

Steven and I both feel lucky to have such great parents. They all have been behind us 100% in this crazy, mid-life farm venture. It means the world to us to know we have their support.

Electrical outlets all along the hoop house

Electrical outlets all along the hoop house

 

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