Plastic surgery

We have a hoop house!

(A what? you ask…. believe me, you’re not the first. It’s an unheated greenhouse that extends the growing season. I’m told it effectively moves my garden 500 miles south)

My Uncle Jack brought the materials and the know-how; the boys and I provided the labor, and my dad showed up a little later with the all-important soil (a.k.a. “dirt” – we’re not fancy here).

In about an hour, we had the frame assembled with plastic stretched over the top. Two hours after that we’d learned a few things about fitting plastic on the ends. (Mainly we learned that the ends are tricky, and the more you button down the plastic, the hotter it gets inside.)

To keep the plants from cooking on a hot day Uncle Jack equipped the window with a device he calls the “divorcer” (it allows you to not be married to your hoophouse) It’s a gadget with a parafin-filled tube. When the wax heats up it produces enough pressure to swing the window open and let the hot air out and the cool air in.


Crew:Uncle Jack, Amy, Ben, Nick, Grandpa Tom

Elapsed time: 4-ish hours

I’ll post a materials list later, but Uncle Jack says the conduit, 2x4s and furring strips and plastic (6 mil greenhouse plastic) cost about $200. The thermostat that runs the “divorcer” is the big-ticket item ($70?) on this project. In the winter I’ll have to bring it in the house, so someone please remind me.

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