It has been a while since either of us posted. It has also been cold (at least for the Puget Sound region) over the last week – getting down into the low teens or even lower. Unfortunately, this means that despite running a propane heater in the greenhouse, the contents of said greenhouse are suffering a bit. So far nothing has outright died, but I’m worried we’ll have a repeat of the ‘flaccid bell pepper’ incident of 2008. At least since it has been sunny during the day, the greenhouse is getting up to 50+ degrees while the sun is out.
In addition the cold weather has meant a modification of the daily routine – at night I am bringing in the chickens’ water so it doesn’t freeze in the dispenser and in the morning I’m taking out hot water for the chickens and hot water for the goats. I’m also having to hammer out the ice in the goat’s watering trough in the mornings as well – needless to say, that’s adding a bit of time to my pre-work morning routine.
In order to nip this in the bud in future, we’ve decided to run a 115V/20A circuit from the house out to the greenhouse. This will allow us to (1) Keep a 1500W oil radiator running in the greenhouse to keep its overall temperature at night above 32 degrees F and (2) Run a water trough heater in the goat pasture to keep their water from freezing at night. Unfortunately, the circuit won’t be installed before this particular cold snap breaks, but it should be good insurance for weather yet-to-come. The additional work item for the greenhouse, of course, will be to finish the insulation installation. Not sure what else we can do about the goats (and we’ll still need to bring the chicken water in at night).