Friday, November 16, 2012

Just When We Thought We Had It Under Control

We got the last batch of broilers processed in record time…we were rockin’.

We got everything cleaned up quickly and had a nice lunch. The week was off to a great start!

After a quick check of internet news, I was off to the hoophouse.

The weeds were coming out quite easily.  Things were looking good!   I was rockin’…


Why am I always hearing weird noises?  What is that?

I guess the rain finally got here. 

Wait a minute…that’s not rain. The sun is shining… 

What IS that noise?

Brrr-ttttt….  The sound was coming from above.  I looked up. 

I could see the sky.  I mean, I could see the sky.  I mean…I could SEE the sky THROUGH the hoophouse.

 Well, not exactly through the hoophouse…

Oh MY….

There was a hole in the very top of the hoophouse.  A hole THROUGH the plastic and the plastic was vibrating in the wind.  B-R-R-R-R-T-T-T-T-T-T-T-T! (or something like that) It seemed to be growing as I looked at it. 

Dang!  We canNOT catch a break in this hoophouse!    **sigh**

My hands were filthy from pulling weeds, but I didn’t want to trudge off in search of the Boss.  Jeans are made for cleaning dirty hands, so scrub…scrub…scrub.  When my dialing finger was acceptably clean, I called the house…no answer.  I called his cell…no answer.  Well, looks like I’m trudging after all. *sigh* (again)

I finally found him headed in my general direction.  He accompanied me back to the hoophouse where he was the one who actually cussed out loud. (I must confess, I took a little comfort in that one…sorry, Dear!)
The exact cause of the damage eluded us…maybe it was the Derecho…remember how the shadecloth blew off? Read this.  Maybe it was the heat of the summer on the metal spines.  Maybe it was just time to replace it.  The reasons didn’t really matter; we began brainstorming a solution.

A sheet of plastic?  Huge amounts of spray foam?  A miracle?

Unfortunately, the hole is in the VERY top of the house…too far in to reach from the outside easily, too high to access from the inside.  We both knew that the only solution would be to re-skin the whole hoophouse ASAP.  Neither of us wanted to do that.  It’s a bad time of year (hoophouses should be re-skinned while it’s warm) and the added expense was unexpected, and quite frankly…not what the farm (or the farmers) needed right now.


Hoophouse #1 collapse 2001
snow and torn plastic spell disaster

We both knew what would happen if we did NOT re-skin the hoophouse. The unexpected new job held no appeal for either of us. Although, we really didn’t have much choice.

All I could think was….NO!  my baby plants!...our potential for winter sales!  ACK!

We exchanged frustrated looks and returned to the job du jour.  I worked on my weeding and suddenly, he was researching and ordering plastic, which I am fairly certain was not at all what he had intended.

The next thing I knew, a tape measure was flying over the top of the hoophouse as he measured for the replacement.  We got a measurement, he made an order…now, we wait.

The new plastic should be here within the next week.  Then we need a calm day…that small detail alone may be present a HUGE challenge…

…and we’ll get to the latest project involving hoophouse #2.

While this one was totally unexpected…a real pain…and a potential nightmare, we must rejoice that we actually have the cash to make the repair, it didn’t happen in the middle of a blizzard, and we can actually choose the time of the repair. Another item worth noting, the repair job won’t be as costly as either of us expected, due to the Boss’ willingness to do a little on-line bargain hunting.

All things considered, this is not as bad as it could have been.


    …just when we think we’ve got it all under control…


           ...we learn just how little control we actually have.

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