Walnut Run Farm

Walnut Run Farm

certified organic CSA in Williamsport, PA

Archive for April 2012

Roll Your Own: Episode 1

We knew we wanted some movable greenhouses right from the planning stages of our farm. Yeah, they let you extend your season and all that hocus-pocus, but I also get really tired of ripping out tomato plants by hand in the fall. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just push the greenhouse out of the way and mow/disc/chisel them?

So in addition to our big new stationary greenhouse, we decided to add another project to our burgeoning list and put up a greenhouse on wheels.

First we looked at buying a pre-made movable greenhouse. The only ones we could really find were the Rolling Thunder series from Rimol, but given our low budget and lackluster past experiences with Rimol, they were ruled out pretty quickly. Besides, we knew that we could make our own movable greenhouse somehow. We just had to find those nifty little wheels somewhere.

Early in the winter we had bought a cheap 50′ greenhouse frame on Craigslist that we had decided to use for our project. We found the wheels in the new Johnnie’s Seeds catalog and ordered up enough for our frame.

wheel from Johnnie's Seeds

The wheels ride on 1 3/8″ top rail, the kind of stuff you use for chain link fencing. We bought about 200 feet of it, enough for one full move. I figure if it doesn’t work out I’ll build a backyard roller coaster out of all the parts. As a side note, the wheels come with absolutely no instructions or advice, so its up to the end user to figure out how to properly apply them. Hope we’re doing it right.

Of course there’s a good bit of problem solving to be done, and we have scoured the internet for pictures of other peoples home-made movable greenhouses to give us ideas. Foremost among the problems is how exactly we are supposed to fasten this thing to the ground. With the stationary houses you pound in the ground posts a couple of feet. But with the mobile house the entire frame is sitting above ground.

I think we’ve  figured out how to keep it from blowing away, but if anyone else out there has done this and not had your greenhouse turn into a giant kite with the first big wind, let us know how you did it. We were thinking of sinking a tee-post in at every other bow or so, and fastening the ground post to the tee-post with a chain or strap or something. I don’t know if it will work. For now I’ll just park our equipment well out of the way in case she should  take flight.

Lara looking busy for the camera

I’ll be adding plenty of updates as we make progress (or fail miserably) at this particular project, and I’ll post more details about the construction and what have you later on.

 

New greenhouse

  The parts arrived for our new greenhouse yesterday. This one is stationary. We’ll start laying it out and getting it up today. We got it from Atlas Mfg. They’re down there somewhere in Georgia and they do a great job with their greenhouses. We’ve put up a lot of different greenhouses over the years,… (read more)

rye

We couldn’t get  oat seed for cover cropping this spring so we seeded rye. We’ve never tried it in the spring. Here it is  after seeding just 7 days ago, and that’s with no rainfall or irrigation. We just used the Earthway hand crank broadcast seeder and then ran the discs over it really lightly…. (read more)