Extending the Growing Season

As we continue our quest to grown as much of our own nutrient dense food as possible, we decided it was time to build our own greenhouse this year. It is placed in Cathy’s kitchen garden so that she can grown greens through out the winter. We based the design of the greenhouse on the design of our chick brooder buildings where we start the baby chicks. The brooders held up well the last several years with all the big snows. The roof is steep enough that much of the snow slides off. The greenhouse is designed so that we can take it down in the summertime if we want to. Or we might just remove the plastic covering and cover part of the frame with greenhouse shade cloth so that we can grow lettuce and other greens in the shade during the heat of summer.

All of the bows are up and it is almost ready for the plastic covering.

We made the bows of the green house out of 2X4’s. Where the 2X4’s were joined together, pieces of plywood were glued and nailed on either side of the joint. The rafters are 8′ long and the side walls are 5′ high on the upper side and 6′ on the down hill side. The bows are spaced 4′ apart. The ridge pole that connects the top of the bows together was not yet installed in this picture.

The finished greenhouse – 12′ X 32’  The cost of materials was less than $300. If you build it yourself, a greenhouse is very affordable. The plastic on the sides can be rolled up to provide ventilation when it gets too hot inside.

Melody gathering spinach in the greenhouse with one of her cats. The spinach was overwintered in two cold frames before the greenhouse was built.