Sunday, February 19, 2023

more light

In Autumn 2021, I was once again pondering buying a small greenhouse - KB, are you here? You gave me some very helpful guidance based on your two greenhouses, thank you again. The greenhouse decision rolls around every Autumn. But in 2021, after many weeks of research and pencil-chewing, I came up with sufficient justification and a budget for a kit. For about 24 hours I was SO excited about finally deciding to invest in a greenhouse - a dream for over 30 years!

Then I took a hard look at my current ability to assemble a greenhouse. This put a stop to my gallop. I started wondering who I could hire to do it for me, and what it could cost. It's not a simple task. And it takes multiple people. Site preparation possibly requiring a digger? Oh my. Then, the (all too familiar) question came up: where on my forested property would a greenhouse have enough light?

Overnight it occurred to me to build the goats an extension on the barn instead. (I know. You might not want to go shopping with me.)

West side, framing underway.

I sketched up the design but it was built by Actual Professionals, which is why things look so neat and level and square. The whole construction process was remarkably quick. Usually I don't enjoy standing idly by watching other people work, but this time I just stayed out of the way and took a few snaps every day.

My idea was, that with another 20x8' shelter that can be divided - in minutes! - into two, three, or four little open stalls, more goats could happily share the barn area without intimidation or fisticuffs. I'm pretty pleased with the design. It's a pleasant, flexible, run-in shed. I call it the Peace Pavilion.

the southwest corner

It's been about as successful as all my previous peacekeeping missions in Goat World: i.e., improvement, not perfection. But it's also a very bright and airy place for hoof trimming and cashmere combing! Here, Fern prepares to demonstrate in April 2022:

And although it's not a greenhouse - remember the greenhouse? - the roof is clear corrugated panels, so there is plenty of light, at least until leaf-out. There are also big corrugated windows on the east and west walls, and the south side is completely open. So I told the goats right from the get-go that the southwest "stall" might be seasonally commandeered for use as a seed-starting area. Last Spring I was too busy with extended cashmere harvesting to close off that corner for starting seeds, but this year it could happen.

Fern says, "Really? You're expecting
an easier cashmere harvest this year?"

Hmmm. You have a point, Fernie. Well, we'll see.

By the way, one last comment about light.

Here's what I did with the floss from the milkweed seeds:

And here's why:

magic lantern!