Sunday, June 27, 2021

"Michael's" Project

In 2019 we visited the Pyran Farm (which I still haven't blogged). Michael noted their high wind tunnels and the corn growing under them. 

He spent considerable time researching, thinking, and doodling this winter. I knew he was thinking of how to grow corn up here. We priced kits new and used.  His doodling grew into plans and a shopping list. 

I didn't fully grasp what he was talking about...but he made a jig which looked rather interesting.  He bought PVC pipe, sand and clamps.  He made a plug.  On May 18th this was my view from the table. 

I finally understood the vision. He cut the pipe into various links. Grandpa spent May 19th cutting and sanding pipes. 

Michael used the propane turkey fryer to heat up sand, they poured the sand into the pipes and then bent them around the jig and left them to cool off. 

Alex's help was enlisted
May 24th proved Michael could find a job for anyone who wanted to help out.  Benny's assistance was enlisted.
 GG and Benny working on "Papa's job" 

Things began to take shape. This man is determined to grow corn in Alaska. 

Our timing was off. Michael worked to get this done as soon as the weather was nice enough to be outside, but I needed to be able to plant by June 1st.  All his time was going to here and THIS is why we didn't get much of the garden tilled and planted this summer. I planted the beds. If I had a realistic idea of this project, I would have hired someone to till the potato and corn patches...or to burn the weeds in the spring or something. 

It began to take recognizable shape on May 27th. 

Allie and Stacia spent a lot of time helping in this phase of the build. 

On June 21st Michael and Allie began covering the frame with plastic. 

Looking good

The kids came over for Father's Day on June 27th. They all got together and moved the "greenhouse" to the spot where we grow corn. Unfortunately, it was too late to start corn. I already had my seedlings planted into beds...but we are set up nicely for the garden of 2022. 

Michael left the ends open so the wind would blow through it this year and not tear it apart. In the spring, he'll put the ends back on it. I may put some heat in it and use it to start seeds. It may well cover our corn rows this's worth a try.  It currently houses much of our yard furniture and garden tools etc.  It's Dec 30th and it's withstanding the winter wind and snow fairly well. 

This was a great unifying project. Everyone had a part in its creation. Michael has the plans and jig to make more. It IS sturdier than the kits we saw, and it cost less to build too.... free labor is always a bonus in these situations.😏

I envision lush green growing in the garden, arches with beans and roses growing over the top, a gazebo for summer visitors...and all this white plastic was not in my vision. BUT if we want to GROW many things we NEED the hoop houses and tunnels. There you have it. I'm still trying to figure out how to make the garden a lovely spot of refreshment as well as a functioning garden. 

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