Wednesday, May 15, 2013

greenhouse - part 1

jambaloney here!!

 hey helga - here is nice spring sky for you!

 you have all heard the rumors i'm building a greenhouse - it's true!!! these pics are from a few months ago - planning and the like - it was december, here are some salvaged windows...

 and more....

 and lots more!!!  after 2 years of scavenging windows from other people's garbage - i think we finally have enough!!!

 and here is lumber left over form other projects - it's a good start!!!! notice the fancy lumber rack!! it's actually an old bunk bed some fishermen were throwing out  - all steel - and a tarp ;-))

originally i was going to build a 10' x 10' greenhouse so i laid down this frame as a base to give an idea of where it might fit. then i got more ambitious and decided on an 8' x 20 ' greenhouse... it's not like we don't have the  windows!!!

whoops - february and a side project  - we needed some stakes for planting and such - the snow was  packed so i fired up the atv...

attached a scavenged bucket  to the rear

went down to the well...

where there are loads of dead tall saplings, being winter it was easier to get to them..

i cut a bunch ...

and used a ratchet to tie them to the scoop... the curved bottom on the snow made for an easy tow!!

 that is a LOT of poles - time spent = 1 hour ;-))))

back to the greenhouse... i planned on using railway ties for the base. we had a few, our neighbors d* and e* gave us a few more and then one day i noticed that they were fixing a few nearby bridges... i was able to get the last bits from the leftovers - the workers though it was cool i was using them to build a greenhouse!

oh yeah - next day -  march 30 - 30 cm snow!!!!!! frankie blue eyes is a little miffed!

 a few days later later i laid them all out on the snow to remove all the nails...

tools of the job...i use an angle grinder to cut old nails down to the board - take a fraction of the time removing them takes ... reciprocating saw is there in case there is a odd for energy and water for hydration.... railway ties, even teh small bits, are heavy - lol!

but these are BIG nails, the cordless was struggling so i got the corded grinder ..

and zapped the spikes

nail-free wood...

and the aftermath!!!!

3 weeks later - 1st trout of the season for pioneer preppy!!

lots more done by now, i will post it all soon - cheers everyone!!!


  1. I collected what I thought at the time were lots of storm doors for a greenhouse. However, I have nothing compared to your collection! I cannot wait to see what you have built.

    When we moved here we found spikes in the walls for construction. There was even a 6+ inch square spike in the wall, apparently for holding something up, for hanging something extremely heavy.

    When you get through up there, I have a greenhouse project in Alabama. Unfortunately, the city would charge me to have something built. That will such a nice thing to have for your projects and garden. I am impressed.

    1. aww linda - thanks for being impressed!!

      truthfully, there were a LOT of windows available here - we have what is called "large garbage pickup" twice a year which makes it easy. it is the only time you can throw out anything but garbage bags - spring and fall... this year spring pickup is coming up - can hardly wait!!

      if kymber lets go of me, i will come and build one for you, if not, i hope you can learn something form mine - cheers!

    2. Linda - being that you are such a good internet buddy - i have no problem letting you "borrow" him - bahahahah! thanks for always leaving such positive comments here - we really appreciate it!

    3. We have large garbage pickup, too. However, a truck would help. Plus, I would have trouble lifting those wooden windows. That is why aluminum storm doors are mostly what I have. I prop them in the trunk and drive home about five mph.If I had a truck, struggling with a window would be easier if I had a truck to shove it on. Putting anything in the trunk of the car is hard because I have to struggle to get it just right, not ruining the trunk seal, not getting a window under the trunk hinge, etc.

      I have a set of 6 jalousie windows that are 7'+ across and about 4ft high, all one piece, with screens. They are my pride and joy, brought here and unloaded for me, a surprise "gift." Right now, the window set is propped against a rock wall of the basement facing S-SE. It grows magnificent weeds all winter long! I should shove a plant back there in the winter.

      My next vehicle will be a truck. I don't even care if it is a beater as long as it has ac. You have no idea how hot and humid it can be in the South.

      That reuse of the bunkbed is ingenious!

      Oh, kymber could come too!

      I would load you up with all the eggs you desired, and you could pick some fine wild fruit here. We/you could can and dehydrate when we weren't serving him sweet tea and bbq from my grill and holding things up for him! Then, there is the swing I nap in, all shaded. It is a long way from Nova Scotia!

    4. Linda - we would eat those fresh eggs daily - we loooove fresh eggs but just haven't gotten around to getting chickens yet - next year - too much other stuff to take care of first! and yes - we would definitely can and dehydrate stuff and eat a ton of wild fruit. i wish it wasn't so far away - your part of the country i have never seen.

    5. wow - 7 x 4 feet - i can only dream... ;-)))

      a truck might server you well linda - cheers!

  2. A lot of windows make for a lot of joints and caulking, but you afford it, considering the price of the windows!

    1. hey gorges!!

      i am prepared for the paint and caulking - have about 12 tubes of silicone already and 2 gallons of outdoor paint.. the lumber cost money too...

      BUT, glass greenhouses cost a small fortune - so you are more than correct that this is waaaay affordable given the alternative!

      cheers to you!

  3. The man who owns the acreage across from us built a fantastic greenhouse from salvaged windows. He has a wood heater outside and a stove pipe running into the greenhouse for the freezing nights we sometimes have. You guys are awesome!

    1. thank mamma bear!!

      i have been thinking about doing the exact same thing for the winter!!!! really!! that or passive solar.

      i hope you are having a great spring - cheers!

    2. I thought about making the heaters with a small wattage bulb under the terra cotta pots. I could put several in the greenhouse for the little time at night the greenhouse would need heat.

      Plus, I have about 100 vinegar jugs I would paint black and fill with water to collect heat during the day. By putting them all behind a piece of metal that would further facilitate heat collection and retention, I think the few freezing days and nights in the South could be mitigated. Besides, I could still cover greenhouse plants with plastic with the lightbulb heaters underneath on the floor. I use a 60 watt bulb to operate the water heater for my hens. The hens' water sits exposed to the elements, even rain.

      The sun would not shine on my greenhouse location until about 10 am, so I would not have to arise at dawn to remove plastic. Then, the rock basement wall of the house would collect heat.

      I need a partner of the male persuasion for all my

  4. Jambaloney,

    You have all the materials cleaned up, organized and ready for making your greenhouse. This greenhouse will be beautiful, and professionally done. I'm so happy for you both, I can't wait to see pictures of the final project.

    Poor Frankie Blue Eyes having to deal with that terrible snow......hurry up snow, go totally away!!!!

    Nice looking fish, only one?? Where's mine??

    1. hey sandy - sooo good to hear from you!!!

      well - i HAVE all the materials - cleaned the windows need a LOT of tlc - lol!

      the snow is now long gone - i should have asked you to shoo it off sooner ;-)

      trout were slooow this year due to the late spring - i got skunked the first day out!!! that NEVER happens!!!!

      so second time out, i only got one... your trout is coming up next post ;-))))

      cheers my friend, i hope life is treating you well!!!!

  5. That is so Awesome about the Greenhouse! I'm looking to buy a small semi-rigid greenhouse for my place that will fit perfectly on the patio slab and on the south side of the house. God was watching out for me when I bought this house as while it is a bit older (1940) it came with a basement lovely fruit and walnut trees and over 50 feet of grape vines as well as Lilacs and roses that smell lovely. Other then the basement the house is a single level so that is perfect for my disability when I have bad days. Made up a new batch of beer and it's looking like it will have a heck of a kick when finished of 6.5%-7.5% alcohol recipe is up on the blog.

    Linda I'm not sure about your place for vehicles but I have a 2003 Kia mini-van that is perfect for an urban homesteader. I can haul up to 8 foot boards and pallets inside and it also came with a roof rack. I love how I can add and remove seats and unlike some vans all the seats are on wheels and fairly easy to move around by just flipping a latch. Might be cheaper than a truck in your part of the country! Plus you can take it camping and a couple of people can sleep in it easily.

  6. My adventure,
    My main objection is that I have allergies to anything I pick up, this that are not exactly I need a vehicle where I can not live with what I haul or have hauled. Bugs, spiders, left behind sawdust all are no nos for me. I don't camp, so that is no draw for me. I will write that vehicle down so I can access it someday. I keep all sorts of information people give me for the future needs. Thanks.

    Any truck here is worth a fortune, even beaters. Plus, off-road trucks with no light, bad brakes and such are in demand because of chicken houses and large farms. The farmer or chicken house owners have the truck and employees can drive off-road on the farm.

    1. Linda, I was afraid your area was a lot like here in Idaho and trucks always go for a premium price! What about a small trailer? You can get a hitch mounted on the car for about $150.00-$200.00 and then get a small trailer for under $500.00 depending on the hitch weight and if it has solid cover or just a few side boards. Not a truck but it might get you by until you get a truck plus you can use it with the truck once you find one to buy. has a really neat Cargo area protector for SUVs but it would work for mini vans and it has an all around solid cloth barrier from roof to floor and it is less than $50.00 if I remember correctly.

    2. myadventures:

      thanks for stopping by and cheering!!

      i am really glad you have such a wonderful home that is suitable for you (an your beer - YUM!)

      as for a greenhouse - building a smaller one would not be a big chore if you can get some large old windows... i am attempting the taj mahal first go - nothing like a challenge-- how big are you thinking? i can send you links - i have lots!


      linda - you might want to think trailer - they are easy for one person to hook up and unhook - a truck IS easier to maneuver tho' .. you take care!!

  7. In scavenging you sure do have a HUGE advantage up there in Canada. Around here I could go to a RR work crew and get ties 30 years ago but these days everything is either resold or scrapped out. You can't even get any railroad track ends anymore :(

    And I never see people doing any real renovating anymore. Makes for a less adventurous ethnic Irish engineering life let me tell you!!!

    I am eager to see how your greenhouse turns out.

    Nice trout too. Jamby is so lucky... And he has good fishing spots as well :)

    1. hey there bee man!

      people here do tend to discard a lot comparatively - my lucky indeed!

      no renovating??? too bad - the leftovers are my bread and butter!!!

      greenhouse will be cool - trout are nice - i AM lucky - thanks pal!!!

    2. Jam, I collected up some awesome old double pane glass but I'm not sure how to use it? As I'm now moving in a different direction. Aw heck I have lots of room in the shop I'm sure it will good for something someday! A few freinds told me I need to name my beers and my latest batch will be named for you K&J's 2/4 May english ale. Unless you all can come up with a better name....

    3. my adventures:

      thank you for the beer honor!!! that is the coolest thing you could do - i LOVE beer!!

      as for the double paned glass - how big and how much! ... LOTS of uses for that stuff - it is easy to frame it out yourself.. let me know and cheers!!

  8. Ah kymber, you're a lucky lady :) So jambaloney, exactly when are you arriving in South Africa?

    1. hey dani!!!

      i'll be there...uh, umm... soon??

      you are a bit of a trek - i'll do what i can ;-))))

      cheers and all my best!!!

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