Reclaimed woodWe made a good bit of progress on the chicken coop greenhouse this past weekend. As it stands today the only money spent was for nails and electricity for the tools. The base is an old porch and all of the lumber was taken from an old cabin on our property. The strutcture was abandoned many years ago and there’s a good bit of damage but much of the interior lumber is very useable. We spend the morning gathering wood and by evening we had most of the shell built. The door is also reclaimed and the window is one of four that were being given away due to flood damage. Actually, they were new windows that had never been used and the damage is very minimal… mostly they are just dirty!

Cutting out nails and screwsThe next step is to put on siding and roofing which will cost some money but not too much. Then we’ll use the other two windows as well as 2 sliding glass doors (just the glass, no door) also saved from a landfill to build the attached greenhouse. We’ll be buying some treated lumber for that as well as some roofing but it also is mostly free from recycled materials. My guess is that we can have both structures pretty much done with about three days work.

Chicken Coop in process

Last will come a few finishing touches like installing the 30 watts of solar panel to the roof and wiring in a light and fan for circulating air from the greenhouse which will, in theory help warm the chickens in the winter. We’ll also be harvesting the rainwater from these roofs into 4-5 rain barrels which will be used for plants and chickens. The barrels be painted black and placed on the back wall of the greenhouse where they should heat up a good bit for passive solar heat during the winter.

I’ll post more when it is finished but I’m very happy to be taking the next big step in the permaculture design.

In other news, I’ve now got at least six loads of wood mulch, each load the size of a small car… that’s alot of organic matter!!! All of it local, the product of utility tree trimming. Thanks to all that mulch and a huge load of cardboard I’ll be putting in new paths through our food forest as well as new layers to last years mulch. I planted fava beans around the fruit trees Saturday and came across many earthworms in the greatly improved soil. It is absolutely amazing what 6 months to a year of cardboard and straw mulching can do to for the soil. Lastly, I planted gobs of onions and transplanted the kohlrabi seedlings to the garden. I’ve got 60 seeds of 5 varieties of tomatoes planted in flats.

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