Hoop, High, Green

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Driver Cap slips into stake; slow & steady is best to prevent damage

Our recent project on the farm is assembling a green house (aka High Tunnel, aka Hoop House) to lengthen our growing season and diversify our garden. The first task was finding the flattest spot on our very steep land to fit a 48′ structure, which made the ideal spot a hike up the mountain from our present garden (and still quite a grade to be building on). There are many plans out there for creating your own high tunnel out of PVC pipes, old windows, even out of repurposed soda bottles but we went the route of purchasing a kit from Puckett Greenhouses in Virginia. Before we left on our yearly holiday back west, Tony managed to get a fair number of stakes into the winter ground. It took a bit of figuring to make sure everything was square and level (thank you, Pythagoras!) especially with the optical illusion steep land can create to mess with your head (just keep your trust in the math). It also took sheer brawn to pound the 5 foot stakes deep into the ground – in some places 4′ 10″ deep to keep everything level! The first few stakes were near impossible to get in the ground without mangling the top of the stakes, using a mallet, sheer strength, and a piece of wood alone, but after some research (and something that should have been included in the kit, in my opinion) we stumbled on a video of a person using a Driver Cap to get the stakes into the ground. What a lifesaver! Another lesson in having the right tools makes the job that much easier! At this point, all stakes are in the ground and the bows are up! Getting ready to put in the purlins and cross braces next.

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Tilled earth & Tony pounding stakes

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Assembling Bows

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Check out how high the stakes are out of the ground on the left compared to the right (can’t even see them they’re almost all the way in the ground)! It shows how steep the land is on this “flat” spot we chose to build the greenhouse on.

M.G.