So, we’ve got this spot by the entrance to the new wood shop that needs a retaining wall. We had to dig the floor to the new wood shop down about 10 inches. On top of the fact that it was already 8 inches lower than the shop next to it. This left us with about 18 inches of hill that just can’t wait to slide in front of the door and block the way like a big dirt bouncer at a wood shop club. So we decided to build a railroad tie retaining wall to hold all the dirt back and guess what? We had a bunch of railroad ties laying around the farm. Perfect!
Spring has finally sprung here at the farm! Let’s just hope it stays this way. Now that it’s April, Missouri’s weather needs to get its act together! Anyway, we’ve started to notice some signs that spring has arrived; the hyacinths in Rob’s flower bed have started to bloom, we have a seriously broody buff orpington, the greenhouse is full of seedlings and germinating herbs, we have construction projects out the wazoo and there’s this bright light coming from the sky… oh yeah, the sun.
The greenhouse is nearing completion. FINALLY! However, we are noticing one major issue. It’s hotter than balls in there! We decided that between the automatic window openers, the thermostatic pump control and ourselves; we have three separate systems working against each other. We needed a solution and we found one… in Canada.
So with the greenhouse structure built, it was time to start working on the inside. Zach and Dave have been doing a lot of research on benches, temperature control, lighting, and watering systems, while Nemo has been designing the very important manifold for the radiant heat in the floor, and anywhere else we need heat. We wanted to make the space as efficient and easy to use as possible. But first, we had to find materials.
Earlier this spring it was decided that we were going to build a greenhouse. We had originally planned to just build a hoophouse. But after deciding to try to heat the greenhouse with our wood boiler as well as doing a lot of research, we realized that a hoophouse just wasn’t going to cut it for many of the plans we had. It also would not be as strong or as efficient as a kit model greenhouse. A hoophouse would have taken care of some of our needs but not all. So as it turned out, we needed a real greenhouse. Not just any greenhouse. A really kickass greenhouse.
So we decided that our first project would be to install a wood boiler. This way we’ll be able to heat the house, hot water, and greenhouse with wood instead of burning oil or gas. Unlike oil or gas , wood is a renewable and cheap/free resource. We got plenty of it, and haven’t had to chop down a live tree yet, only standing dead ones. The boiler burns wood slowly and very efficiently using a natural draft system, and it doesn’t release large amounts of carbon dioxide into the environment like most heating systems do.