Ode to our Vintage Greenhouse

I started this post in February 2019 – I don’t know why I never finished it. Seems apropos to post it now, seems how we bid farewell to this old greenhouse as part of an emergency septic system replacement at the end of May. We have a new Climapod, ready to assemble. While it will be bigger and more air/water tight than the old glass one, it won’t have nearly as much charm.

I love greenhouse work.  As a volunteer in the early days of Veggielution, I became de-facto greenhouse manager for a short time.  There, I learned the magic of starting plants from seed.  I came to understand how each seed is a meditation on life and perseverance – all of the energy that a plant needs to grow starts with the power stored in a tiny seed.  That’s pretty amazing if you think about it.  Greenhouse work is detailed, quiet, mindful work.  For a person with an anxious mind, this is the best kind of therapeutic work because it asks for complete presence in the moment.

How lucky for me that Mike’s house came with a greenhouse!

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It’s a rickety, old, glass structure that has been on the property for who-knows-how-long.  It was probably put up by long-time former owner, Mrs. Disher, who was reportedly an avid gardener.  There are missing panels that we keep meaning to fix with the plastic paneling that is leaned up against the side, but other projects keep getting prioritized.  It’s not impervious to all plant predators.  I patched up the areas with missing panels with fencing to keep birds from flying in and eating seedlings.   In the fall, a wood rat got in and used the plants as a personal salad bar.  Generally, it seems like it is one earthquake away from falling down.

In the winter, it doesn’t really stay very warm and/or dry.

We dream of building a bigger, geodesic greenhouse in which we could maybe grow citrus!  But for now, this is the greenhouse we have, and I love it.

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