Thursday, March 11, 2010

Getting some real work done!

It has been beautiful outside for a few days and we have been taking advantage. We started building the ends on the high tunnel on Monday - we have made a ton of progress! It was way more work than we thought it would be, partly because the structure is so tall. It is almost 14 feet at the peak! We tightened all the nuts and bolts and then covered them in duct tape so the plastic won't catch when we pull it over. We built the ends, added baseboards and hipboards, and attached the wiggle wire channel. What is wiggle wire, you ask? Great question. It starts with a channel which you screw around the ends and the sides of the high tunnel, then you pull the plastic tight, and send two zigzag wires through that compress and hold the plastic with tension. It helps keep the plastic nice and tight. It looks like this:

Shawn had the daunting task of attaching the wiggle wire channel and the "studs" to the top peak of the last hoops. It was fine when we could use the van, but when we did the front, he had to use a ladder. It was pretty scary.
We pre-drilled the channel and attached it down the rest of the end hoops and along the hipboards.Our local UMD Extension agent, Bryan, has been advising us along the way since when we started we had NO idea what we were doing. He has helped so much with showing us different ways to build the ends, letting us know which suppliers have the best prices, etc. At one point, our clamps weren't working very well to hold up the 2x4s where we needed them, so Bryan stepped in - helpful as usual.
Here it is after we attached the baseboards and hipboards and built the back. And here it is after we built the front!
Gotta build the door and then it will be ready for plastic! It's been a lot of work, but has turned out to be a really fun project.

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