Posts Tagged ‘greenhouse’

Last Friday and Saturday Hubby and I went to Cheyenne, WY to visit our son and daughter-in-law, Dani who graduated from LCCC’s Equine Science program.  We even got to visit the place where she has been working – training and breeding horses.  It was great to get away but by Sunday morning we were back home, rested up and ready to get started on the giant jigsaw-puzzle-soon-to-be-hoop-house in our back yard. 

Luckily we had done some of the ‘dirty work’ the weekend before.

This is how it all began…

May 12th we started with a fairly level piece of ground and dug 34 holes.  Each one had to be at least 2 feet deep and 12 inches around.

Check out that great water hydrant in the middle of it all.  Water is a wonderful thing!!!

Then we hired a professional. 

We hired John (the best cement man in the world) and he brought his mixer and a truck full of sand – talk about a rolling mobile beach.  Kind of makes you all nostalgic for a pair of flip-flops and a Pina colada doesn’t it? 

We even used my anniversary gift – the big yellow ‘garden tractor’ on the left.  Hubby brought a couple of scoops of gravel for mixing cement with it. 

Even though it’s my loader I still let him drive it once in a while – if he behaves himself. 

Yep, some girls just get diamonds and flowers. 

Not me…  I’m a lucky, lucky woman.

This is Johns’ ride.  Don’t you just love big, red Mack trucks with shiny chrome stacks and big bumpers? 

I do.  Especially when they have great Mack bulldog hood ornaments like this.

So 2 weeks ago (on Mother’s day) we mixed and poured cement.  Then we had to wait…

We waited for the cement to set up and we gave it time to cure and we waited some more because it rained…  for several days…   and then we went to Cheyenne…

But finally, last Sunday, with the ground stakes ready to take the weight of the hoops and a lot of help from our neighbor, Paul we ‘dove in’.  We made pretty good progress without too many mistakes.  The instructions could have been a little more in-depth but what really helped the most was to lay out all the pieces before we started putting anything together.

Actually, the worst part of the whole day was the wind.  It started to blow by mid morning and by noon it was really starting to get with it.  But we kept on working till about 5:00 when it got so bad it would just about blow us over as we stood on the ladders.  It was darn exciting!  See the ladders in the photo?  That’s the way they looked if you weren’t holding them up.

We worked all day and didn’t quite get to the half-way point but now we can see just how big this thing is going to be.

I don’t think I have enough tomato plants started.

And it doesn’t look too bad for our first attempt.

Of course that was last Sunday and as of today (when I took the pictures) we have not been able to do anymore work on it because we had 40-50 mph winds on Monday and Tuesday and then rain ever since.  I don’t know about you but patience has never been one of my strong points.  Unfortunately, there’s not much I can do about it but whine and I’m sure you don’t want to hear that so instead here’s some photos of our Nanking Cherry bushes.  This is the 5th summer for them and they look great.

They’ve had a pretty hard life so far.  We planted them 2 years before the end of a 9 year drought and for the last 3 years we have had a horrible infestation of grasshoppers that have totally stripped the leaves and fruit from them but just look at them now. 

Take that you pesky hoppers! 

You’ve got to be tough to survive this country – just like the people who live here.  We might have some scars and rough spots but once in a while we do put on a really good show.

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You will never guess what we have in our back yard.

It is something I have needed for a long, long time and hopefully it is something that will help save my sanity from the grasshoppers that have infested our place for the last 3 years.

OK – it’s not therapy but that might have been cheaper in the long run.  HA!

Here’s a clue.

It fits on a flat bed trailer and looks like a bad accident.

Or a giant jigsaw puzzle.

Have you figured it out yet?

From this photo only one thing is obvious to me – whatever it is –  it’s going to be a challenge. 

Ahhh!!!!   Another new project – I must be crazy.

I haven’t finished Nadine yet and now we have this sitting in our yard.

 It’s a hoop house – basically, a plastic covered greenhouse without additional heat.

South Dakota is one of the states chosen for a pilot program with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQUIP).  EQUIP is split into several conservation programs – water projects, sage grouse protection and one for hoop houses.  There are other ones too but these are the main 3 we hear about in SD.   This program is meant to encourage the organic production of vegetables and specialty crops by helping ranchers and farmers purchase hoop houses on a cost share basis.  It’s a wonderful idea and we were one of the lucky ones who qualified this year.  We have heard there hasn’t been much interest in this program so it may be one of the programs cut with the new budget.

For the last few years I have been trying to sell vegetables at the local Farmers Market and fall festivals.  The demand is defiantly there – especially for fresh veggies grown organically.  Everyone has been very encouraging and very eager for more than I can produce – especially when we have to share with millions of grasshopper so hopefully this will help.

That is – if – we can get it put together.

There seems to be a lot of pieces…

Lots and lots of pieces…

Big pieces and lots of little bitty pieces…

So many pieces that Hubby seems a little overwhelmed at times…

But at least Julio (the cat) is there to help.  Even though he doesn’t have thumbs, Julio does what he can – like rubbing against your leg and letting you know that he loves you even if you’re an idiot and can’t understand what the instructions are trying to tell you.  It’s OK. 

It’s good to have warm, fuzzy friends.  Sometimes you just need a warm, fuzzy hug.

For me it’s easier not to look at the whole project because that can send me running home to my mommy or down to the corner bar.  Instead I tend to break the big jobs down into lots of smaller jobs.  Instead of one big job – we have about 583 small jobs to do before I can plant seeds.  Then it’s not quite so scary.

Especially when you have good help – last night our neighbor, Paul and I were in charge of unloading the trailer and counting all the parts.  Today Hubby digs in the new water line and installs the hydrant.  Then it’ time to lay it out on the ground with stakes and string so it’s square (actually rectangular) and then we start digging post holes for the ground stakes. 

 Just like the old saying:

“How do you eat an elephant?”

“One bite at a time.”


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