THE FERAL TURTLE

THE FERAL TURTLE

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Building a Greenhouse From Recycled Materials - Part Two


And let the sunshine in!


If you would like to see part one of the greenhouse structure CLICK HERE.  It shows how we recycled two old falling apart car tents into a frame. 
Framing the door was quite easy.  Notice the little pepper plants already in their new home?  The bottom brace on the door where the arrow points on the right is temporary.

Door frame is attached using aluminum.  We had some aluminum pieces in our scrap pile and cut it into strips, drilled holes big enough for screws to go into the wood and a bolt into the metal tubing of the greenhouse frame

Wood is all given a coat of white exterior paint.


Recycling a steel door is a lot of work!  But totally worth it.  We saved it from the landfill!


Wooden frame is cut out of a sheet of OSB and thoroughly covered with white paint.
Wood is attached using bolts.  We drilled through the wood and metal frame, put bolts through the wood into the metal frame and secured on the inside with nuts and washers.



Door hinge area is chiseled out.

Door attached,  View from inside.
Even the door latch was recycled.

OSB is also painted on the outside now.


Wrapped in plastic.  This stuff is so tough you have to cut it with an olfa knife.  It wont tear!   We bought our plastic from Northern Greenhouse. http://www.northerngreenhouse.com/ 
We haven't put a fan in yet and will wait until  the industrial fans come on sale.  Vent door to the left and full sized door to the right, are opened every morning.  Seems to provide enough ventilation for now.

We secured the plastic using plywood strips that were ripped from a four by eight sheet. 
 We cut the strips at 1-1/2 inches, routed all the edges and pulled tight to keep the friction to a minimum.  Plastic was wrapped around the strips and screwed to the wooden foundation, the shed and the OSB on the front of the greenhouse.


We have had the greenhouse up and running for two weeks now.  Just took me this long to edit and post.  The tomatoes and peppers have improved so much since being brought into the greenhouse.  Next year will be even better.

Strings attached to rebar in pots tied to the frame of the greenhouse in hopes of copious amounts of tomato production!  We  can only  hope !


Our watering system.  We collect water in a large tank from the garage roof, and pump it into barrels.  Hopefully this water will heat up in the daytime and add a bit of heat into the cold fall nights.  The white barrel stores water with added fertilizer.  We can fertilize all the plants once a week.  We may paint all the barrels black!

A pathetic little cherry tomato, purchased from the (HELP ME!! NOBODY GIVES ME WATER  clearance rack ) has finally started to smile :)


Bought a spiffy new thermometer.  When the temperature is at this reading, that's my cue to leave.   Heat makes this turtle  crabby and unpleasant.  You can ask Mr. FT about that.



A late start for this year.   We've eaten lots of baby red peppers and cherry tomatoes and  have used many of the herbs for cooking.  We also planted a zucchini in the ground to keep it frost free and perhaps with any luck,  we can eat zucchinis into late fall.  I feel healthier just looking at all these veggies!

Cheers.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Greenhouse Equals Greenthumbs? Building A Greenhouse With Recycled Material



I Got Sunshine.......On A Cloudy Day!

We will soon be frolicking in our shiny new, built from mostly recycled materials, greenhouse.  After purchasing the plastic about 15 years ago, having it sit in the rafters of an old shed being pooped on from mice, flies and the likes, it was put to use!   Granted, no sunshine, rain or snow have touched its skin, but it was still  in pristine condition.  We ordered double the size and our plan was to build a greenhouse for my mom, which we did, and one for ourselves, which we didn't.   Amazingly enough, the one built for my mom still has the plastic intact, but with its few scars and rips, it has been long abandoned as a greenhouse.  It was fabricated from round bar connected with  little doodad connectors that Mr FT created. 

You can check out the plastic here if you are interested.
The website owner builds greenhouses from rebar, which is where our original greenhouse idea came from with a few modifications.
Needless to say, we just never got around to the heat and sweat  joy of a greenhouse.  Then one day, when cleaning up a tired car tent, purchased from Costco, and another car tent we inherited for our daughters wedding, you know, the big ones that are 10x20 feet, we had this brilliant idea of merging the two frames into one fantastic, super marvelous, steroid tomato growing greenhouse. 
 Easier said than done, but with that said, it's done.




An old fence built from Douglas fir timber was recycled into a foundation.

We used two layers of timbers with staggered joints.   They were glued and fastened together with lag bolts.   Rebar was pounded through the timbers into the ground to keep them in place.


The first frame piece was anchored to the wall of an old shed and screwed to the timber base.

We decided to use a white end tee here instead of the cross so that Mr FT could work his magic and fabricate an out of whack cross tee to join the brown frame to the white.  

He used a leftover piece of the tubing to weld into place.

Mr FT workin his magic!

An "out of whack" tee and a sneak look at the plastic...and a crappy paint job by yours truly!


  Hopefully you don't have to wait fifteen years to see the finished results. And just maybe, I will grow some green thumbs.
If you decide to build a greenhouse like this, I would recommend just using one car tent frame or two of the same make.  We used two so that it would still be a 10x20 greenhouse.  All the horizontal tubes were cut in half so that each frame would be closer together.    We wanted to keep our greenhouse here in Canada, not in Kansas!  hehe  Actually we wanted more support for the plastic, so that it wouldn't sag as bad with a snow load.

Cheers!!

Linking Up With

Friday, August 2, 2013

Hard Lotion Bars and a New Batch Of Soap


A quick post on making your own lotion bars.
Especially great for feet.
Gather supplies
  1/2 cup bees wax
1/4 cup cocoa butter
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup shea butter

Heat beeswax, cocoa butter and grape seed oil in microwave until completely melted.  Remove from microwave and add shea butter.   Stir until completely melted.  At this point you can add essential oils or fragrance oils.  I usually add about 2 TBSP.

Pour into containers, molds, or anything you have on hand.  I have used cupcake liners, Ikea ice cube molds or just ice cube trays.

Let harden and enjoy soft feet, a nice massage, or just all over body moisture!  It's a pretty versatile lotion.



Another project on the go is Castile Soap.  I wanted to make a few batches for Christmas.  The longer this soap cures, the harder it becomes!  Hard is good!  It will last longer.

For complete instructions on making your own Castile Soap, 
visit 

Lye and oil  are cooled to 110 degrees

Always practice SAFE SOAP MAKING!!!
 RUBBER GLOVES,
 SAFETY GLASSES, LONG SLEEVES
 AND AN APRON.

2 ounces of EO or fragrance oil per batch.  For this batch I used 1 ounce of Cucumber,  3/4 ounce of Mint and 1/4 ounce of Eucalyptus.

Soap reaching trace stage.


An addition of poppy seeds for scrubbing bars.

A long curing time makes for good soap!  This will cure for about four months.


Happy lathering.
Cheers!!

Linking Up At These Cool Parties
Mellywoods Mansion

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Surprise Feature From The Inspiration Cafe!

What a surprise to be featured with such talent at the Inspiration Cafe

Hope you have a look at all the wonderful ideas, and maybe add one of your own amazing projects to the next Inspiration Cafe linky party!
Cheers!