Alfred Reed Bishop and Doris William Butler

The picture above is the very tap root of Bishop's Homegrown/Face Of The Earth Seed. My grandparents shortly after moving to Pekin Indiana from Greensburg KY in 1947 where they purchased the farm that is now Bishop's Homegrown. This picture was taken in Pekin in front of the old co-op next to the old railroad depot, neither of which exist today.

Search This Blog

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Great Glass Elevator

"....a reminder that I am not alone here..." Nothing better than that beautiful blue Febuary sky and daytime moon to remind us just how close to spring we are.
Worm Compost!

So, I teased you guys with my Great Glass Elevator plans the other day and thought I'd take a moment to snap a couple pics and share with you. One of the things that has always stuck out as a possible problem in my sustainability plan for the farm should shit ever get "that bad" was that my greenhouse set up's rely on a petroleum based economy to remain viable due to the plastic covering that needs to be replaced every four or so years. Sure it's nice having a greenhouse, but let's face it, if things are that bad and that plastic goes there's not a lot those frames are potentially good for unless you can find some sheet metal and self taping screws somewhere.

I've been contemplating building a glass house for some time but never had the materials until this past season when I helped a neighbor repair a fence in exchange for some really nice sliding glass storm doors which I put to use for this project. I've still got quite a few out in the supply pile that I'm holding onto in anticipation of Kim and I moving to the backside of the property and building a passive solar greenhouse on our home.

Until then though I've been in need of a bit more space and some higher humidity conditions to help in propigating/rooting small nursery stock so I set out to find a small area of ground to house my new "Elevator" The berry patch just so happened to be just about right.

All that was needed were a few cedar posts and some nails. I recently cut some cedar posts for a friend as a custom order and went ahead and droped the needed posts for this project at the same time, so technically I actually got paid to cut my own posts...... :) I love it when plans work out like that.

Anyhow, one of the other varied needs on the farm was that of a solar dehydrator, I can, in a pinch dry things on racks in the greenhouse and cure turkish tobacco on a specially made tobacco lath rack out there but air control and humidity control are a real pain even with electricity in what amounts to a glorified cold tunnel and without electricity (SHTF) how can I be expected to dry bulk amounts of food?

This project has completely solved that issue. As you can see from the photos below the new greenhouse is in no way air tight, in fact theres lots of fairly large sized cracks and crevices currently filled in with old greenhouse plastic and feed sacks as well the backside of the greenhouse has one window on the outside bottom and one on the inside top leaving a six inch gap with a 12-14 inch differential, the door is also removable on the front and the house is positioned in a north east/south west direction for air flow! This should make for a nice, naturally regulated dehydration house!

While building the house I knew that it wouldn't be heated and that I would need to make up for the lack of heat early in the year with heat sinks if possible thusly the tables you see (soon there will be a set of three shelves around the two side walls and back wall) are set atop of 50 gallon blue poly barrels filled with water (3 to be exact) this is probably actually a bit overkill in a house this small but time and experience will be the true judge.

Also included below are some pics of the nursery stock I started propigating today. Anyhow, enjoy.

Propigation materials from left to right: Blackberry rootstock, Bishop's Dewberry cuttings, Jewel Black Raspberry cuttings, Burbank "Snowbank" blackberry root cuttings.
And thusly spring 2012 begins!
The Great Glass Elevator (or variously The Cosmic Cube!)

1 comment:

Practical Parsimony said...

Wow, that's a pretty sky!

Paint the barrels black for better heat retention. Don't put tobacco in with plants or where plants are germinating.

I have lots of doors I have collected for just the same purpose. I wish my greenhouse were built.