Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Progress!!!! Lots of progress thanks to the help of friends. Let me start out by talking about day one of greenhouse construction. It started out like this: Aaron Di Orio (there may be an apostrophe in there somewhere, and maybe a couple more capitol letters) showed up with his tools and a wealth of skills and knowledge on everything from making cars run on used vegetable oil to constructing and repairing everything under the sun. The first thing Mr. Di Orio did was start pounding on a tape measure with a hammer. Please trust me on this one; I may be famous for exxagerating, but I kid you not, stage one of greenhouse construction was Aaron Di Orio smashing the tape measure we were supposed to be using to square the construction site with. I don't exactly know what happened. I offered him the corkscrew from my pocket knife, not really knowing why, but to my surprise he accepted it and started jabbing the corkscrew into the metal thing at the end of the tape. Apparently it was jammed and the tape measure wouldn't open and the corkscrew didn't work so he started pounding it with a mallet. Then he said, "I have to go." He disappeared for a little while and I heard, from the direction of his truck, loud smashing noises which sounded like the possible destruction of my garage. He calmly returned a little while later holding the tape measure which looked none the worse for the wear and functioned none the better. He tossed it aside and we used another one. We had like three.

I would like to note that at no point did Aaron Di Orio appear frustrated or mystified by the tape measure incident. It was all just a part of the process of consrtucting the greenhouse, and not being a construction person, who was I to argue.

Speaking of the greenhouse, our goal for the day was to square the area where it was to be put up and hammer in the ground stakes. As it happened, we did all of that and put up the rest of the structure. No joke. We put up the entire greenhouse. By that, I mean, all of the poles that I ordered. At the beginning of the day, there was nothing standing, and by the end of the day, it basically looked like a greenhouse without the plastic and I have to tell you everytime I looked at the structure, I was incredibly elated! I can't believe how much we accomplished, and it was a lot of fun! I'm pretty sure what we did in a day would have taken me a long and frustrating month to accomplish on my own, so I can't tell you how grateful I am for the help and guidance and for the fact that the process was enjoyable.

That all happened on Sunday. What was left was to make end walls, which means, to buy lumber and construct some sort of wall and door at each end of the greenhouse. To the rescue came Paul Alward and company--yes, that's the famous Paul Alward, AKA Dr. Landscape, AKA Veritas Farms. All I can say is that him and his helpers put up the endwalls and doors in a day while I tried to help but mostly just stood around and scratched my head in amazement. So, now that's done and all that's left is the plastic, which I actually know how to do on my own though I'm told I'd be crazy to try and do it on my own because it takes more than two hands. So, I won't be crazy. But I'm so thrilled that the greenhouse is up and soon I can start all of my seeds!

The only other thing to say is, when I decided to call this place Muddy Farm, I had no idea how accurate I was. This place is MUDDY! And it's taking a long time for the dirt to dry. That's kind of a funny thing to say since we're expecting two inches of rain today. But, really, I won't be able to till until the dirt's relatively dry because this soil is on the clay side. When soil is more clay than sand and it gets tilled or plowed it tends to dry like cement. It's great soil, overall, and it will probably dry out more quickly in future years after it's been loosened once or twice, but this year it's really really wet. So, planting may be delayed. But, you know, the weather's never gonna' be perfect. It's always either too wet or too dry or too humid or too cold or too hot for this or that or the other thing so I ain't gonna' complain. HA! Of course I'm gonna' complain. But not just yet. Not completely, anyhow.