Wednesday, December 12, 2012

freebie cold frame

We discovered three windows in the corn crib recently, and since we're not planning to build any other living quarters on the land anytime soon, I figured they would be best put to use as an experimental cold frame.

I was originally going to use straw bales as an insulating frame but wasn't too inclined to hunt down any on Craigslist or call the number on one of the signs I've seen on the side of the road for $2 square bales.

No, I had to do things the hard way and envisioned utilizing leaves around the property and stuffing various cast-off items with them, creating insulating "pillows" instead.

While this took a little more time than I anticipated and looks a little ghetto, I'm hoping it pays off in the form of a head start on spring planting.

I debated building a frame out of some of the wood in our barn but instead decided to use the little deck in front of the storage shed as the back of the cold frame.

Turns out that king-size pillow cases were the perfect fit to fill the void under the deck. (We got rid of our king bed right before moving, so I used those sheet sets for padding various items during the move and then kept them on hand because I knew I could eventually use them on a day like today.) The dog food bags were a little short, so I just stuffed the king sheets themselves above them.

Jay helped me attach two of the windows (three would have been too wide) to the top of the deck with hinges for easy access to the planting bed beneath.

Fancy and ghetto at the same time!

I'm debating how to enclose the sides. I found a huge stash of tobacco sticks in the barn (they look similar to grape stakes) so I might pound them into the ground, cut the carpet you see there to size and then staple it to the sticks for insulation on the sides.

What say you: ultra trashy or ingenious reuse of free materials?

1 comment:

  1. I would jump at chance to pay $2 for a bale of straw. I live in Kingman, Az in northwest part of state. Only 1 feedstore is selling straw out here & their charging a whopping $10 a bale!!! They are totally price gouging on the straw; because I know where they got it, & that place is only charging $5 a bale, but is too far for me to drive to pick up, so I eat the cost. So I bought 2 for mulch and to line my 3 hound dogs beds for when it gets colder.