Friday, March 18, 2011

Building a greenhouse from scratch

I was asked to make a greenhouse for Zeph's school, so I thought I'd document the process and share it with you.

With stakes and string lines we set out the site.

We hammered in the stakes and leveled off the tops.

We measured the hose and cut six arches the same length.

We popped the hose over the stakes and created a dome.

We fixed horizontals using a spacer to speed up the process.

We then began to apply the clear laserlite sheets.

The weight of the timber and laserlite flattened the dome.

Which was fixed with a central post and some angle bracing.

Thanks to Shay, Joe, Gabe and Zephyr for your help, and to Paul, the boys' teacher who said it was OK they stayed out of class to help. Yes, a rare and wonderful school.

I made a smaller, but similar structure at home last autumn using reclaimed materials. It's much smaller so you couldn't conduct a class in it. Nonetheless, any size greenhouse is helpful in cool climates, to keep food production going through the winter.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A twist on home-brew

I'm a fairly green home-brewer, in both senses, I'm only onto my fourth ever brew. But despite this I have a tip that doesn't seem to be common knowledge. If you buy twist top beer, save the bottles and the caps. They can both be reused again and again, cutting waste and expense. I can now confidently say the caps work as I've started to drink my first brew and have experienced the pleasure of my ales being released under pressure, with a twist of the wrist.