RAIN! I'm starting to think we should be building a boat rather than a greenhouse. My name is Ben and I'm in charge of the construction and design of the greenhouse. Here is a little look into where we started, where we are now, and where we will end up in regards to physical space here at Round Table.
The story begins on a little scrap of land in Forest Lake Minnesota. This chunk of land offered everything we needed to be successful in our adventure. All day sun exposure, access to plenty of water, and an abundance pre existing flower and vegetable gardens are just a few of the reasons this land was so appealing. Below is a picture of the land before any work had been done. It doesn't look like much now but just you wait.
Initially, there were 2 big projects to consider, Beehives and the Greenhouse. Work started on the beehives in the very early spring. Seeing as I had never built a beehive, I figured it would be wise to get an early start and learn as I went. I had access to an indoor heated workshop so the cold was no issue. Erin and I decided on the Warré style hive partially because it was simple to build and maintain over other types of hives. Turns out building bee hives is tedious work as it took me almost 40 hours to complete 3 hives. Apart from the hives, we also installed a 20'x20' veggie and flower garden near the hives in an effort to offer up some food for the bees and make them feel welcome.
From there, my attention shifted to the greenhouse. Step 1 is to install a foundation. The need for a foundation comes from the heating a cooling system we will be utilizing known as a Subterranean Heating and Cooling. We broke ground 4 days ahead of schedule due to a warm snap that defrosted the ground much faster than expected. From there, things took a turn. Rain, rain, and more rain. Mother nature seems intent on keeping the 22'x14'x7' hole I dug topped off with water. It is difficult to pour concrete in a 7' hole filled with water so for now, we wait.
Once the foundation is in, the structure will be framed with treated 2x4 lumber and glassed with a double layer poly for added insulation. We will be utilizing a sand-point well as the water table at this location is only 20-30 feet down. The slope of the roof will shed snow so there is no worry of a collapsing greenhouse when we get 2 feet of snow in an afternoon. The roof pitch also optimizes the greenhouse for winter growing letting the maximum amount of light in when we need it the most.
To say there is a lot of work to be done is a bit of an understatement. Stay tuned for more updates and pictures. I can't wait to see where this project takes us and having you along for the ride makes it all the better.