Greenhouse Base Done

A slow weekend this weekend, for various reasons, however work on the greenhouse and our “sustainable business hub” has started. Using savaged materials, I have sunk in a number of posts that are not going to go anywhere soon. I used my faithful measuring device as you can see in the photo below. Each of the post holes were approximately 800 deep and heavily packed and back filled with a little bit of cement to sure things up. There is no weight in the greenhouse itself, about 95kgs all up, but better to over engineer I say, just in case we get a cyclone or something similar… (stop rolling your eyes Hayley).

My Padawan apprentice as always helping out on the farm. Here he measures the depth of the post hole for me. Feet didn’t touch the bottom, which was 800mm!

I didn’t have a straight edge long enough to span the corner posts and across the diagonal, so I rigged up a simple water level using an off-cut of hose I had laying around. Simple but effective! Clear hose would have been easier again, but this still did the job!

Sorry for the blurry image above – low light conditions. The base is down. Perfect size greenhouse for a dedicated aquaponics system. 2x1000lt fish tanks and 6 1000X1000X450 grow beds will fit in nice and snug with a little pathway in between. I have used 150mm coach bolts to anchor the corners to the posts. Fixing into end grain is not ideal I know, but 150mm should do the job nicely. I have also reinforced this with a handful of 50mm self tapping hex screws. Hmmmm overkill maybe… It is upside down, but those “pegs” just do not cut it for me, hence anchoring to the post. Once the polycarb is in place, they will no longer be a hazard.

I still plan to run the AP system off the grid, so am investigating solar – battery – inverter options as well as low wattage yet high volume water pumps. Also starting to look at fish species. I could go the ever faithful trout, and then as the water heats up, into the dam they go and restock, or go murray cod and silver perch. Being in the greenhouse, water temps should be perfect for them…

Just for the record, it is perfectly level, but 2mm out of square…

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Greenhouse, aquaponics and storeroom/office.

Well things are really moving along here on the farm, well at least the ideas are. Winter has hit us hard with temperatures struggling to get into double digits most days. The winter vegetables are slowly doing there thing with our cauliflower and brocoli starting to head up nicely. Cabbages are also tightening up and my beloved brussel sprouts are…well, sprouting. Everything else however….

So off to the planning office (which really is everywhere as my head doesn’t really stop thinking…) and onto eBay. Damn that thing can be exciting! In any case, I have just purchased a 4.2 x 2.5 x 2.1 greenhouse, which will house my MK III aquaponics system made out of IBC tanks, as well as a seedling raising house. If my math is correct, I should be able to get the aquaponics system running off a battery bank and inverter with a solar panel to charge it all up during the day. With a low wattage pump, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem… Next to the greenhouse, my strawbale storeroom/office will also go up. May not get the time to finish this part this year, but hopefully the posts, beams and roof will be up by years’ end, and maybe the flooring, ready for strawbales and rendering in the summer.

Slow and steady. A little forced with limited funds, but at least I can’t rush it!