and more

We survived our frost advisory, along with most of our vegetables, though I spotted frost on the rooftops when I woke up Wednesday morning.  Thank goodness for a large collection of row cover, and dinner guests who were recruited for the evening drape-a-thon.  I think there are more ripe tomatoes and peppers in our future after all.

This weekend we made more progress on the hoop:  and I even remembered to take a few in-progress photos. Friday D had a futzy job of making rounded wood pieces to go over the door and on the back side.  They fit over the purlin ends so had lots of tweaking to fit properly.  Once up, though, they made a nice clean surface to attach plastic, with no sharp metal pieces.

Plastic on, front and back (over the door) attached, and the sides.
 Saturday was a perfect fall day for working outside, except that it was too windy for putting on the cover.  So, we puttered on with prep work:  I sanded any sharp corners of the frame where there would be contact with the plastic, D made battens to attach the cover to the frame.  There was site clean-up, lots of checks on the forecast,  a dog walk, and various procrastinating.  Finally, towards late afternoon, the wind calmed a bit, and we decided to go for it.  For insurance, I put rocks in old tube socks to serve as extra "hands" to hold down the edges while we worked. 

Attaching to the side frames with battens.

All in all the process went pretty smoothly.  The wind was mostly a non-issue for pulling the cover on, though it did make tensioning a bit tricky.  Fortunately as it got closer to dark it calmed more, and I am pretty happy with how tight we got the cover.

I can say that we LOVED the wiggle wire.  We used it on each end (just over the doors) and along the sides.  It really helped to be able to adjust the tension without compromising the cover.  We are also using it to lock down the bottom sides for winter (they will roll up in the summer).

Here you can see the curved wood piece over the door.

Halfway through days like this, you realize all the research and preparation is good, but there's a point when you're just on your own, doing something totally new, and hoping you can figure it out.   There are things in life you do so often, it's muscle memory:  coring a tomato, pouring a cup of coffee, reaching for the toothpaste.  But to do something completely new and unfamiliar?  I think it is good exercise (therapy really) for the psyche.

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