|Winter's death rattle. Snowfall: 0 inches. HA!|
My dad cut all the plywood for us. As you can see here, a cold frame base can all be cut from one piece of plywood:
The two top pieces become the sides, and the bottom pieces become the front and back. Here's some pictures of our assembled bases outside the greenhouse. As you can see, the boxes are slightly angled forward, towards the sun. Both the greenhouse and the cold frames face South.
That thin piece of wood across the bottom is designed to be stapled on top of the plastic and hold the whole thing together as tightly as possible. Unfortunately, we didn't have long enough staples, so I'm planning on finishing up the plastic and putting hinges on tomorrow morning. I'll post more pictures of the completed cold frames then.
In other news, the snow has finally melted enough that we can see what our future vegetable field will look like. I mentioned before that I was worried because I had been hearing more and more about how wet the field we were planning on using could get in the Spring. A visit to the NRCS (National Resources Conservation Service) field office in Westford at the beginning of March confirmed this fact (they have pretty detailed information on soil types and wetland areas throughout Massachusetts). Well everyone was right, the field is really wet. Right now we're dealing with about this much visible water:
Obviously, this puts a little snag in our plans to build a perfect 100' x 200' vegetable field (you may remember this picture from an earlier post:)
While it's a little disappointing that there's a seasonal stream right through the middle of our perfectly rectangular 1/2 acre, this doesn't mean we can't grow at all. Our new plan is to put in two vegetable beds, one on each side of the wet area. We measured it out this last week, and we should be able to squeeze a 80' x 90' rectangle on the side closest to the house, and a 100' x 50' rectangle on the far side. We're also planning on putting in a bridge across the stream at some point so that we can get machinery across (most importantly for tilling). This has been my first lesson in being flexible. I'm sure it won't be my last.