Thursday, October 1, 2009

greenhouse and grant progress

I promised 2 weeks ago that the next post would continue w/progress on the greenhouse that Billy has been altering, partly w/funds from the SlowFoods St.Louis grant and mainly w/his own ingenuity.

The 1st picture is the front wall of the Southwest side of the greenhouse, the main entrance if you will. This wall at the time of this picture, is made from single wall polycarbonate and you can see the bubble wrap hanging on the inside of the greenhouse for additional insulation. In this 2nd photo, the wall is completely "see through"as my engineering minded husband has framed and hung a recycled window that we bought somewhere for 20.00. You can see the new rubber mats on the inside floor and if you look at the top, this window has smaller sliding windows for ventilation...pretty cool huh? At present he is replacing another partial wall w/the irregular pieces of the double wall "thermoclear" material that we had left over from the interior wall project. Here is a pic of some tomatoes that we are drying as part of the grant expectations which was produce sundried heirloom plum tomatoes as an alternative market product. These tomatoes are Orange Bananas, Plum Lemons, and Amish Paste. The Plum Lemons mostly came from Kimker Hill Farm, St. Clair. As most of you know our Plum Lemons had almost complete crop failure.

NOW for the exciting part of this addition. Yesterday I spotted one of our Cayuga ducks coming out of the pampas grass which as you all know from previous posts, is where they tend to hide their nests. I spoke to Kelly Childs from SlowFoods last month that I was finding duck eggs about the farm and was hoping that someone was trying to make a nest even though it is VERY late in the year for this. So when I peeked into the grass, this is what I found.

I believe this to be the same hen that raised the small batch earlier this season. She has 6 or 7 eggs under her. This is unprecedented behavior for Cayugas, they are usually finished nesting by early September at the latest. If they don't build a nest, they are generally finished laying by late July. I am excited!

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