Sunday, November 30, 2008

many hands

The job of moving the greenhouse parts from my parent's house to the farm, 12 miles away, was facilitated by a 25' trailer attached to a large truck, graciously lended on thanksgiving morning by my new friend Gabe. Thank you!!!
Dad, Gabe, and my brother Jonathan, all helped me haul the cold steel tubing & large pieces of lumber onto the flatbed-- at 8 in the morning! At least it wasn't snowing...
And then at 9am Saturday morning we started assembling it. Dad & I had already made the ground stakes (1 1/2" steel conduit-- hacksawed into 30" lengths in the garage), then pounded them into the ground at 4' intervals on each side of the greenhouse site.
The crew for the greenhouse-raising included mom, dad, Jonathan, old neighborhood friends Jim & his son Jimmy, my friend Angelica & her son Felix. Felix is 3 and was really excited about helping out.
Dad & I had built this scaffolding (copied from Farmer Dave's design) to help us reach the top for easy assembly. It was really convenient, and super sturdy too.
A crew was assembling the arches on the ground, while other people were up on ladders connecting the top pieces.
3 rows of reinforcing poles were slid into the sides & bolted down.

It was a cold day, and many gloves came on and off, when either manual dexterity was demanded, or warm fingers were a necessity.
The sun came out for about 2 minutes. Kind of.
The final haul, 2pm.
Almost there...
We needed to rest, eat lunch, and get warm. The momentum of the day was waning. But the basic frame of the greenhouse was up! All we need to do now is tighten bolts, and put the top reinforcing bars up. Oh yeah, and build the endwalls, put the plastic on, and heat it. Okay, there is still a whole lot of work yet to do.

Many many thanks to my super helpers. The beginning construction of the greenhouse has made this fallow piece of land a place again. My imagination spins, as I picture myself wheeling a cart full of tomatoes or broccoli plants down the path, in the sweaty heat of July, the luscious green of the weeds spilling onto the edges of the dirt road, where right now bare stalks catch snow. Or smiling faces out in the field, black earth turned up into blossoming produce, and the start of something new, something delicious, something meaningful.

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