Monday, September 12, 2011

Raising the Roof

Last weekend could not have been finer for stretching the  plastic over the high tunnel greenhouse.  For anyone who hasn't followed the previous high tunnel episodes, weekend before last we successfully erected the frame, thanks to some great help from some new friends. Throughout the week, Rog worked on installing the end panels. The peak of the frame is 12 feet, so here he is standing on a ladder atop the bed of the pickup.
On Saturday, we unfurled the huge rolls of plastic for the roof of the greenhouse.
This greenhouse has two layers of plastic film, so we aligned the outer layer on top of the interior layer.  (When complete, a small blower will maintain an airspace between the layers for extra insulation during the cold winter.)

We attached four ropes to the edge of the two layers of plastic film in order to pull it up over the frame. First, we had to get the ropes over the frame, employing various strategies.

Then, everyone hauled on the ropes hand-over-hand to pull the plastic up and over the structure.  Despite one rope pulling free...

The view from inside after  pulling the plastic on, before it is stretched taut and attached to the frame. Within moments the greenhouse effect was actually taking effect and it was cooking inside, so we opened it up all the way by unzipping the three zippers on each end and rolling up the flaps.
The plastic film is secured to metal channels on the sides and ends of the structure by a zigzag spring inserted into the channel.
The final treacherous task, attaching the film to the arched ends with the springs--no more work atop the ladder atop the truck after this step.
Chad, silhouetted by the greenhouse. 
Our farm's new skyline.
We still have quite a bit of work to finish the high tunnel, but the rest won't be nearly so dramatic.


Ellen Christine Schultze said...

Excellent adventure!

gz said...

I wondered how you'd deal with cold weather.
Good to see it up successfully!

The Luddite said...


cammorsenich said...

Did you end up raising the purlins, and the joists, and the rafters; additionally, did you happen to raise a dream?

It looks so great, I can't wait to see it!

Susan said...

All of the above Camille, except for joists (there were some clever connectors.) That darn song has been going through my head for days,,,
Can't wait for you to visit and see it, too!