Friday, January 3, 2014

The Chylan Greenhouse Project

While the odds seem to be against us in the overall destruction of our planet and its food sources each one of us has the ability to play a role in an evolution of urban gardening. Have you ever noticed that one little weed, a tiny green stem of life, poking through the cracks of cement on the side walk?  That little weed represents the resilience of Mother Nature and how she can overcome all obstacles.  This brings us to the Chylan goal for 2014, mastering urban gardening. Our first project will be the construction of a green house.  We will be posting our progress and encouraging you, the reader to join in.  If you already have a greenhouse think about adding another, people got eat right?  We do not claim to be experts, just a family with a strong desire to make an impact.  This will be a trial and error project.  You will learn from our mistakes and celebrate our victories and if you are also an amateur at this whole urban gardening scene it will be a great way to learn and grow as a team.  If you are local to the Lower Mainland we will be hosting regular classes in gardening provided by our local environmental program.  We encourage you to LIKE Chylan on Facebook HERE for regular updates on classes and more. 

Our Green House Project will consist of Three Phases
  1. Picking the right plan
  2. Construction
  3. Getting started with seeds

Each Month we will update our progress to the Canadian Preppers Blog.  We will also have more detailed updates posted to our Chylan Blog that you can follow HERE.  You can also submit to our newsletter HERE for updates in our progress and other upcoming events and information at Chylan. 

Phase 1 – Picking the Right Plan

Greenhouse Size – Determine what size greenhouse you will need.  In order to do this you must assess your goals.  Do you want to grow most of your own food or simply grow as a hobby and provide sanctuary? Our goal is to grow our own food and reduce our grocery bill.  Hobbyists should consider smaller units where as those with goals to grow most of their own food will need a larger plan with the possibility of expansion in the future.

Know your Limitations – Don’t try and build something suitable for Home & Garden Television if you have experience with a saw.  What I am saying is don’t set yourself up for failure.  Keep it simple and basic and make sure you have a good plan before getting out the saw. 

Keep it Square and Level – Any successful project starts off with a solid foundation.  If your foundation is not level and angles don’t align your end result will follow suite.

Frame – Find a design that you would like to work with.  The web is full of design templates that are free.  We have decided on the classic wooden frame.  We have a basic carpentry skill level so this is something we feel we are capable of completing successfully.  There are other options if you don’t have any carpentry experience such as a PVC frame.  Click HERE for the basic plan for a traditional wooden green house that we will be following

Materials - Be sure to choose woods that are rot resistant. Treated wood should be avoided because the condensation on your greenhouses windows will form droplets that will drain down into your soil. All those chemicals will leech into your soil, kill your plants, and pose a health risk to you if you were to eat the fruits and vegetables grown in contaminated soil.

Greenhouse Panels – Your choices are glass, polycarbonate, acrylic, plastic film and fiberglass.  Do your research, there are pros and cons to all and it depends on your skill level as to what you will be capable of using.  Our choice will be the polycarbonate, it has a shelf life of about 20 years, it’s easy to cut, it is strong and great at diffusing light.

So there you have it, let’s get started.  What you need to do is asses your goals and skill level, create a plan based on them with material that suites your desired outcome and budget.  Stay tuned for our progress and post any comments or suggestions.  We encourage any sort of feedback to help us along our way to our Urban Garden Paradise.  Next month will be all about Phase 2: Construction…….HAPPY PLANNING! 

Master Urban Gardeners in the Making!

Visit us on the web at
or in person
109-6039 196th Street
Surrey, BC.

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