Raising the Roof

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Every year we seed our three greenhouses with tobacco, which will eventually be transplanted to the field.  So every winter one of the farm tasks is to get the greenhoues ready, both inside and out.


As you can see from above the greenhouses have a plastic top and curtains on the side.  When those tops get a leak, it means the entire thing has to be replaced.  All 100 or 200 feet of plastic (depending on which of our greenhouses you are talking about) has to have the two layers of old plastic taken off and two new layers put on.  And yes, all 100 or 200 feet of new plastic is in one piece.  Talk about a handful!


I was at home with our Little Farmer and missed most of the process, but luckily My Farmer snapped a few shots of the process.  First they removed the two layers of plastic to reveal the frame.


gh no top.jpg


Until this week I didn't realize there were two layers of plastic on the greenhouse tops.  There is an air pump in the greenhouse that pumps air through a slit in the bottom layer. This air keeps the top constantly blown up.  If it wasn't for the pump, the plastic would sag bweteen the supports, especially if we had a hard rain.  When we get the occasional heavy snow we take brooms and knock snow off the roof to keep it from collapsing - I've done this before and it's a workout!


Once the old plastic is removed it's time for new plastic.  It is stretched out alongside the greenhouse and ropes are tied to it.  The ropes are then tied around tennis balls.  The balls are thrown over the top of the house, taking the rope with it.  People on the other side catch the balls (or chase them if it was me since I don't have great hand-eye coordination) and pull the ropes, bringing the plastic from one side to another. 


I'm sorry I missed seeing this but love the pictures My Farmer managed to take in between all the tossing, pulling and whatever else is involved in getting the plastic on.  Here is greenhouse with the first layer of plastic in place.


gh first layer.jpg


Then is was time for the second layer.  After that, the plastic has to be cut to size.


GH plastic before and after.jpg

Then it was time to move inside.  The floor is dirt, which must be covered with plastic to hold the water for the water beds.  




We leave the water running all night to fill the bed.  Come Valentine's Day, while others are celebrating with flowers and candy, we will will be celebrating by seeding trays with tobacco seeds.