[Market-farming] Re: QUESTION: High tunnels

Kevin Wilson kevin.wilson100 at shaw.ca
Mon Nov 15 12:16:48 EST 2004

Allan Balliett wrote:
>Wow! That's a beautiful house! Did you  really make it out of 3/4
>poly? I've got one made out of 1inch poly and it really wobbles.

The hoops are 3/4" schedule 40 PVC pipe, the wall thickness is about 1/8" so
it's quite strong. I extended the 20' lengths by about 8" to give us a
little extra height in the middle of our 12' width because my partner is
6'3" :-). I have also heard of people running rebar all the way through the
middle of the pipe to make it even stronger, with the ends of the rebar
sticking into the ground, but the relative lengths made that not workable
for us. The house *does* wobble in a strong wind, which is a bit startling
to watch the first few times, but we didn't see any cracking or breaking of
the hoops. One thing which was annoying was that the bottoms of the hoops
tended to sink into the ground since we didn't have them attached to a board
at the bottom.

The other strengthening technique we used was curved panels cut from plywood
to form a complete half circle, attached to the end hoops and the end sills,
which made the ends very rigid. OTOH we didn't bother with diagonal braces
along the length of the house, for our 20' length the plastic seemed to do
the job.

>Can you hold a snow load with your house?

Don't know. Because I knew we would only be in this rented location for one
season I didn't need to worry about the house surviving over the winter.
Also for that reason we only used builders plastic as a cover (which has
survived a full spring/summer/fall perfectly well with very little UV
degradation, in spite of what all the books and web sites tell you).

However, I do think it would hold up to the limited amount of snow we get
here. I am on the West Coast of BC, Canada, right down near the sea. Last
winter was unusually snowy and we had about 9" over a period of a week or
so, which then hung around for another could of weeks. I'd have no problem
brushing the snow off the hoophouse if that was all we got.

Farmhouse kit: http://www.lionsgatemodels.com/cat-farm.htm
BrickLink Lego parts store: http://www.bricklink.com/store.asp?p=Kevinw1
The Guild of Bricksmiths(TM): http://www.bricksmiths.com

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