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Big dreams growing in a tiny greenhouse

In 2019, when we found the place to be our new home and the home for Our perfect Farm, one of the features we were excited to discover was a small, personal garden-sized greenhouse in the back yard. We figured we’d eventually need to expand into a larger structure as our farm grew, but in the meantime we were excited to have this space to produce our first few years’ seedlings.

In 2020, that mostly involved clearing out the blackberries, mice, and thistles that had made the cozy spot home. We had some lights and potting supplies from the 2016 micro-CSA so got right to work growing things with what we had on hand.

From Beacon Hill garage to Yelm back yard

For most of last year we supplied power to the little outbuilding through some extension cords from the house, a solution we apply not infrequently around the farm and one which my electrician friend does not find particularly delightful.

Sorry, Sparky.

When Wanda and Terry Houghton visited in September 2020, Terry spent some time exploring the electrical situation and with just a little bit of work, we have electricity to the greenhouse that doesn’t include the high risk of shorting out the fuse box.

For 2021, we plan to upgrade the space even further by turning some of the built-in interior shelves into heated propagation tables. With some clean sand, a few soil warming cables, and a few pieces of scrap lumber to help support it all!, we should have a toasty section of the greenhouse to get long season vegetable seeds germinating while the outside temperatures are still shivery.

Look out for some pictures of that project on social media soon! I expect to have the space ready to go by the end of the first week of February. Onion and leek seeds ready to grow for the fall feast baskets should be tucked into soil blocks and warming up on the new “seed sandboxes” by the middle of the month. Tomato, eggplant, and melons for the September cookout feasts will follow shortly after, all before March 1.

It’ll be a busy time in the greenhouse this winter and spring. I’m looking forward to getting started in just a few weeks!

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