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Aquaponic Greenhouse Build – Got Rock?

As with all builds, there comes a stage of which you question why you decided to do something a bit.. extreme 😉

In this case, the questionable decision of adding 10 tons of 1 inch rock to setup the base of your greenhouse. This was how I spent my Saturday. Thankfully my good friend came over to lend me a hand and we made good progress. All in all, it took us about 6 hours to move all 10 tons, or about 1.6ish tons per hour.. and boy were we both beat by the end of it.

I’ve had the opportunity to move that much rock before.. but that was roughly 12 years ago.. and as in all things.. the mind is willing, but the flesh.. well its a bit dated 😉

I am grateful that the path between the dump site and the end goal of where it needed to end up, was for the most part level and maybe only 20-30 yards. We took time alternating between wheeling the barrel back and forth, as any more than 2-3 times in continuous succession and we had a tendency to get sloppy or almost tip the load.

At the start of the job I had been worried that I didn’t order enough rock, but by the time we had got through half the pile it was obvious that I had figured out the proper amount for the job.. whew! Even had enough to run a good portion around our chicken/coop run (see previous post).

My recommendations for those thinking of proceeding with such a job.. if you’re gonna order that much rock, you most definitely want 3 or more people to help even out the workload. It can be done with less, but at that point satisfying one’s pride can come at a cost. The more friends you can drag into it.. the better!

The next step of the build will now be to add the end frames, then the grow beds/nft raft trough and finally the greenhouse film, door and fan ventilation. After that I will need to proceed with getting the shed/tank installed and then work on running the plumbing.

Still a ways off from completion, but progress has been great.. and steady. As long as I maintain momentum, I’m probably looking at around May/June to get started on cycling up the system.

I’ll keep you appraised 🙂

Urban Farm Fanatic Item #2 – Aquaponics Greenhouse… The Build Continues!

Well, the opportunity to finally get down to the fun part of building the greenhouse, i.e… actually building the greenhouse has come! No bushes to dig out, no irrigation to dig around for, no screening out river rocks. Just fun old, “Break out the power tools and grunt like Tim the Toolman Taylor building!!!” Arrrrghhh arrrgh aaahhhh!!! 🙂

Originally my thought was to just start adding in a few images as the build progressed, but by the end of the day I had realized that I had been quite the camera bug.. and so putting together just a few still frames wasn’t going to do this build the justice it deserved. After all, you plan a project for months, you need to give it the full blogging treatment. So, I decided to dust off what little knowledge I have about video editing and put together a nice little clip of the days progress… and yes, this all occurred in just one day! (The magic of the hoop house build.) All together about 8 hours of work.

After completing the first days work, I’d have to say the hardest part of the initial build was the 2x4x6 foundation. I was wanting that to be as level as I could get it, but realized that the ground was in no way level for my needs. I pre-drilled holes for each of the pieces on my back porch which I knew to be level, then moved them into the yard for assembly (the greenhouse’s dimensions are 12×40). I used scrap blocks to add support to the low lying areas. Followed that up with the sledgehammering of the 3 foot re-bar pieces (drove those half way into the ground.. my right hand is dead by the way from swinging an 8 pound sledgehammer).

As for the easiest part, that would be the assembling and installation of the PVC supports. Got a nice little 45 degree joint to mount the two 10 foot sections together, slid one end over the re-bar on one side, then bent and slid it over on the opposing side. That part took all of 20 minutes to complete the entire hoop!

Next weekend I will be receiving a large order of rock that will be applied to the foundation. The plan was to do that anyway and I thought it better to work with the rock in order to achieve a level base rather than trying to dig up the surrounding dirt and raking that around. But as I said.. next weekend.. right now the old bod is ridiculously sore, so I’m going to be giving it a breather before I put it back to work!

Enjoy the video!!! 🙂

Fanatic Inspiration #3..

If ever you need ideas, the webs just a click away 🙂