Before the plastic was off it was on, but I get ahead of myself. Let’s start in the middle. We talked earlier about how we were able to set the bow pipes and build the end walls for the high tunnel at Sweet Rose. Once completed all that was left to do was get the plastic up and over the frame and tack it all down.
As the schedule would have it, we had one day to get the plastic up, that day was the day before the Blizzard of 2010. We got everything prepped out and the weather cooperated. No wind. All was fine until my third hand could not make it. This was the beginning of an ominous ending. With just two of us to hoist and pull and stretch and attach, we struggled to get it all done before dark. It was well past dark when I took one final walk through the covered tunnel. It was calm and a bit warmer inside. The snow would start in three hours.
As I drove back to Vienna to prepare the shovels for the home front , I replayed in my mind the hanging of the plastic and had two nagging thoughts. Was the small rip we created when we hung the plastic secure enough…and did I remember to go back and put more screws in the end wall wood strips that secured the plastic?
The eighteen inches of snow fell and slid off just as it was designed to do. A couple of days of sunshine and it was downright balmy inside the hot house, well that is how I imagined it, since I was still throwing snow at home. And then came the second snow of about 6 inches and as it often does in the Blue Grass Valley in Highland County, the skies cleared…and the wind came a knockin.
And rocking, and ripping and, you get the idea. It was forecasted to be 65 to 70 mph and it was probably all that. As we drove up Maple Sugar Road, the sun was out and even though we knew the unshoveled snow of not just two storms, two record breaking snows, was there to greet us, we did not think the high tunnel would be waving its welcome, like it was happy to see us. But there in all its glory, the plastic billowed along the entire length of the hip board. After a day of snowblowing, we made it up to the shell of a tunnel and found the plastic had probably ripped at the small tear and that the end board has too few screws.
Time to order more plastic.