Sunday, November 15, 2009

the rafters go up

A snowy day in fall of 2009 we built 13 rafters.  Once they were all built we raised the first one into place and fastened it to the north and south knee walls.  In this photo you can see the sill for the dividing wall between the growing area on the right and the storage area on the left. 
Temporary bracing is used to hold the first rafter up and in correct alignment.  Michelle on the ladder, Nathan and Dad on the ground.

Permanent bracing is then fastened to each rafter on the south (glazed) side to keep the rafters correctly spaced.  On the north (shingled) side plywood under the shingles will be fastened to the rafters which will hold them in place.

 Nathan on the ladder attaching bracing.  The braces are staggered to allow them to be fastened through the rafter.

Grandpa Denny supervises from the ground.  His building experience and surplus building supplies and tools proved invaluable.

The last rafter is in place.  It is starting to look like a building.

constructions begins

 We are starting construction on the Mom's greenhouse.  Nathan has designed a passive solar greenhouse that will allow us to grow cold tolerant greens and vegetables in the winter.  We are hoping to be able to build the greenhouse ourselves.  Here we are building the north and south walls that will support the rafters.  The building is going to be 18x24 with a 12x24 growing area and a 6x24 storage area.  The storage area will allow for storage as well as a double door entry to the greenhouse.  The double doors allow entrance to the growing area without exposing the growing area to the outside elements. 

The Garden Goddess greenhouse in nearby Milan which is our inspiration has a dirt floor with an insulated foundation.  This greenhouse is different from theirs as it is being built on an existing concrete slab.  This site was chosen because the electrical and water are already there.  The Garden Goddess greenhouse has an elaborate system of pipes buried deep within the dirt floor that warm air underground and fans that circulate the warmed air in the greenhouse.  Our situation will be different.  We will need to rely on heat sink to collect warmth during the day and release it during the night.  We are hoping to not need supplemental heat in order to keep the inside temperatures above freezing.  The dirt floor and raised beds in the Milan greenhouse act as additional heat sink absorbing warmth from the sun.  Our floor will require that our plants be in containers and may thus pose additional challenges for keeping the greenhouse warm.