October 3, 2006

It took 3 years and a lot of eggs and squash, but this week we took one big step forward….our new greenhouse has been ordered. Every cent we earned from selling any kind of farm product was put in a special savings account, and over time it was determined that the money would be used to finance a greenhouse. So this is a big THANK YOU to everyone who has supported us with your purchases.

After a lot of research and many conversations and phone calls, we are purchasing a Backyard Pro model from Farmtek. It will be 11’8"W x 8’10"H x 24’8"L, with twin-wall polycarbonate. We are getting the exhaust fans, two shade cloths, solar vent openers and heater. We still have mountains of work to do, as well as materials to acquire; the order was only the first part. We will be running water and electricity to the structure, creating a sunken gravel base for stability and drainage, adding in benches and sinks. There will be areas for seed starting and cutting propagation. We spent hours reading, and toured some of the sophisticated greenhouses on the UC Davis campus with the director of the conservatory in order to learn about the ups and downs of different designs and materials. And since this is a kit greenhouse, the odyssey will begin when we actually assemble the structure. The instructions are about 50 pages long. We will need to re-do  the electrical in our shop in order to tie into that box…our humongous project for the winter is set!!

The greenhouse is going to tilt the future of our farm in a new direction. We will have the space and environment to greatly increase the quantity and variety of the heirloom produce we grow, all of which has to be started from seed. We will have products to the market sooner, because we will be able to get weeks ahead of the usual growing season. In a nutshell, we are going to be able to make more plants as never before. And, just maybe, we will use our dining room table for eating at once again! No more tomatoes covering it in February!!

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