May 19, 2019
Another lucky find! This time I just happened to see a post on Facebook’s Marketplace for a used greenhouse, close to our house in Ben Lomond. I thought the price was right, and it looked to be in great condition from the photos.
I decided to jump on it, worried that someone else would buy it first. I quickly sent the info to my friend Rich to see what he thought, and to find out if he and Rick could move it. He confirmed it was a great find and worth much more.
At 8:30pm, I left to go see it and leave a deposit. Unfortunately, redwood trees fell across Alba Road, cutting off the closest 7 minute route. I had to go all the way around in rain and fog, taking over an hour to navigate the mountains. When I got there, the power was out so I saw that the interior was full of stuff, and it did have a water system with a low plywood shelf on blocks, but I did not want the set up.
It looked to be in good condition, and I was excited to have another greenhouse, thinking about the options and ways to use it for storing the grafted apple trees or starting seeds. With beekeeping as a hobby, the Redwood Greenhouse turned into my work area for the bees, storing equipment and hive parts as part of Bee Haven.
After seeing the greenhouse, it was now time to figure out how to transport it. I promised the owner that it would be removed within a week after he cleaned it out. I was worried that the pathway was narrow and blocked with an arbor and tires, etc. Rick went over to take a look and found a very easy pathway to it’s location. He became the lead on figuring out how to transport, being 10’8″ wide x 14′ long. He decided to build a frame onto a trailer, and he said he would round up the guys to carry it out. We consulted over the phone for a few days, and he decided that he could rely on himself, Rich, and Cisco. We decided to help too for a crew of 5 people, plus the owner.
May 22, 2019 6pm
We all meet up at the bottom of Alba Road and put the plan in motion. Cisco unscrewed the greenhouse from the wooden platform, we hauled the electrical lights to the car, and Rick had to reconfigure his trailer frame one foot wider. Rich took the doors off, and Sean, the owner, zip-tied the roof vents shut. We were now ready to carry it to the trailer. Except it wasn’t that easy. Rick spotted a 2.5′ tall piece of rebar in the corner hidden by a vine, holding up a water spigot. He removed the rebar, but we had to synchronize each corner to get it over the water pipe.
The greenhouse frame was screwed onto the trailer and just one strap was necessary.
Alba Road is very narrow and curvy so Rich and Cisco were in the leader car making sure cars stopped because the greenhouse side extended into the oncoming lane. We had a quick trip down Highway 9, and it was smooth sailing into the driveway.
I could not have done it without Rich and Cisco’s help combined with Rick’s ingenuity. They make a great team. With their help, I know that anything is possible.
Currently the greenhouse is stored on the trailer in the driveway until we (i.e. Rich) builds a 3 foot frame to raise it up. The sides are too short so it’s wasted space not being able to stand underneath.
All this time, I had planned to put it above the garden next to the redwood greenhouse. I was planning a retaining wall for one side of the frame and even bought the wood for the framework from some friends.
Continuing with the preparation phase, on Friday, August 3, 2019, I asked my friend Lisa to cut down a leaning live oak that would have been over the greenhouse. I wanted to start clearing the space.
Lisa recommended trimming a bigger oak with overhanging limbs too. But, after this one Live Oak was removed, the hillside was opened up to sun. It occurred to me that the grafted apple trees should be planted on this slope, expanding the apple orchard. So now, I’m deciding on another spot for the greenhouse. Every time I buy something like this, it never gets installed right away. As usual, waiting it out allows for changes and reflecting on the best options for the space.
A year later! It is so true when you patiently wait, things seem to present opportunities. After playing with the idea to put the greenhouse somewhere else, I’m now back to the original plan. Also, I have had 2 people ask me if I wanted to sell the greenhouse, but I’m going to keep it because they are really expensive to buy new.
On Saturday, April 3, 2020 La Selva Tree Service cut off the limb of the big oak as Lisa had suggested.
Then, on May 7, 2020, Darren who owns Small Tractor Service in Ben Lomond cut out part of the hillside and leveled the area. The greenhouse is 10′ 8″ wide and we wanted a 3′ pathway in the front and a 3′ pathway in the back. The space is now ready for the frame.
On Thursday, May 14, 2020 (almost exactly one year), Rich built the frame of the greenhouse using cement piers and redwood 2x4s. Originally, I thought of raising it up at least 3′ for planting beds on the inside, but now I want to add shelves for starting veggies.
Around 2pm, Ian and Erick who were over building a cement pad for a new space in the yard, helped move the greenhouse in place. Rich backed up the trailer, we pushed the greenhouse on the trailer back to hillside, and then carried it up to its new home. It fit perfect and looks great!