September 2, 2011

Project BDLS: Feeding a local community 1 step at a time

Previously I talked about a project that I've been thinking of lately. The project did not have a name at the time but I think I have since dubbed it Project Big Dreams Little Shoots (or BDLS for short).

The goal is to build a small greenhouse that is affordable and easy to assemble. It has to be easily taken down if needed as I do not own my home. The greenhouse has to effectively use the space I have as well as keep the plants sufficiently warm enough through colder climate.
My options are to use reclaimed items or to purchase cheap affordable building materials.
Seeing as the availability of used building materials is not something that I can easily predict, I think that the smartest approach would be to plan for and budget having to buy 95% new items. In that case, I will not shortchange or doom my own project by assuming I will easily be able to find things that I need. Glass isn't exactly a great choice for something that needs to be temporary, unless I have an easy way to attach that can be easily unattached.

My favorite plan so far that seems to be stable while using inexpensive and few items for construction belongs to West Side Gardener. The site features a hoop house style greenhouse plan along with a list of construction supplies you need to get going. They even state that it can be constructed quickly as well.
Now all that is left is to figure out the total cost of supplies, soil, covering for the greenhouse, perhaps something to ensure it stays warm with insulation of some kind, and then of course fees associated with kickstarted etc.
If anyone has anything they would like to provide in helping with this project, I would absolutely love to have people to work with.  The more the merrier!

For now, my boyfriend found a bag filled with garden stakes that I will use to construct miniature cold-frames. My mother found a roll of clear plastic and I am going to use it to wrap around the stakes so that they will stay warmer now that the weather seems to be cooling down toward fall. I have about ten tomato seedlings and hopefully I can build a suitable environment for them to continue growing happily. These will also be planted with the colder climate loving plants that I have received from friends. The Purple Caped Cauliflower and kale will hopefully like these as their growing environments.
Ultimately my goal is to achieve a suitable area where I will cultivate, grow, and harvesting vegetables mostly of an heirloom variety. These are types that have maintained the same featured throughout history. Usually, they are not grown and sold in typical groceries and many people have never witnessed a purple tomato or a white carrot. I am hoping to feed people while teaching them about vegetable species, different varieties, and if I am lucky and anyone will listen I would love to teach other on how to save seeds from these vegetables to plant their own. My kickstarter project will end when I have finished building the greenhouse (this includes the soil within, however does not include any planting of seeds or growing afterward. Just the construction of the area.)

I hope more people support this independent project. If you think this is of interest to you, please take the 10 seconds it takes to simply tweet this to your followers. If not, thank you so much for reading the inner workings of my brain, and the silly things I convince myself I can do. :P

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