Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Crisis Averted

Ever since I discovered the hole in hoophouse #2, I have been worrying over the repair job.  While the replacement plastic was far less expensive than I had imagined, the actual repair work loomed over our heads, well…at least in my mind.

We needed a warm, calm day. Keeping in mind that it IS November, that was something of a long-shot.  However, after the Fed-Ex guy delivered the plastic last week, we kept an eye on the weather forecast.  For various reasons, Tuesday was picked as “the day”.  The Boss assured me we would be done by lunch. I nodded and tried to keep my eye-rolling to a minimum, knowing full well that his little half-hour jobs always (ALWAYS) take half the day.

Dawn was beautiful.  On gorgeous mornings it always takes me far longer than it should to do chores…all because I am enjoying the beauty and taking pictures.  But, beautiful or not…it was COLD!  Hmmm…cold is NOT good when working on re-skinning the hoophouse. We decided to wait a bit in hopes that the temperatures would warm.

It got warmer, but no sunnier.  Although this was not the ideal weather situation, the Boss decided to go for it. This time of year, you really shouldn’t take chances. The weather is far too unpredictable.

 We hauled the new roll of plastic down to the site and assembled our tools.  First, we needed to remove all the old plastic before we could attach the new stuff.

Each armed with a pair of pliers, we worked on pulling the “wiggle-wire” out of the channel.  Then with one gigantic team pull …WHHOOOMPT…the plastic came free. 

We were totally committed now…we couldn’t leave the plants inside unprotected, so the challenge was to put the new, pristine plastic on the structure.  Hopefully, we could do this without making any holes in it. (a very big concern)  It is at this point that CALM wind conditions are a must.  Working with a gigantic piece of plastic that has to go up…up…up in the air, the chance of becoming airborne is always a distinct possibility. I tried to think only positive thoughts. (LOL)

Once the plastic is spread over the structure, it must be attached.  We go back around, pulling the plastic taut and re-attaching the “wiggle wire”. I hold the plastic, pulling with all my might to keep it tight…the Boss man-handles the wires. When applying the plastic skin, it needs to be taut and even so that it will last.  A sloppy, hasty application will allow the plastic to flap in the breeze.  This will cause undue wear and tear (quite literally)   I wrote about covering hoophouse #1 last fall. Read this.

Hoophouse #2 is a different shape than #1 and this causes some different “issues” than we have when working with the other structures on the farm.   The high points in the frame may have actually been the root cause of today’s project, but as hoophouse #2 was a “real good deal”, we try not to think about the negatives. At some point, I will detail the history of hoophouse #2…

Long story….sorta short…we got hoophouse #2 re-skinned with relative ease.  Although both the Boss and I will probably take massive doses of “vitamin I” (ibuprofen) this evening and nurse some sore fingers, arms and other body parts tomorrow…and I no longer have even ONE unbroken fingernail…and despite the fact I really don’t like to brag… we did a fine job! 

Someone once suggested that we should just “hire a man in” to do our hoophouse job.  We both found this to be a ludicrous suggestion.  We do the work around here…it’s a real LOW budget operation (and doesn’t allow for “hired" help) …and quite honestly…we take pride in a job well done!

But, I must say…I really, REALLY, REALLY hope that this is the last post about repairs and maintenance (or groundhogs) involving hoophouse #2 for a LONG, LONG time!

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