Did they reap what they sowed?

Some people decided to build their own greenhouses

When the pandemic forced everyone into isolation and threatened food supplies, some people decided to build their own greenhouses. Six months later, the project remains a pleasure and a challenge.

When the pandemic arrived in the spring, Genevieve Lopez, 27, and her fiancé, Jacob Garnett, 30, of Driftwood, Texas, suddenly faced many of the same disruptions that others their age were dealing with: They had to postpone their May wedding, and shortly thereafter, Mr. Garnett lost his job in account sales. But unlike their millennial counterparts, who coped by bingeing “Tiger King” and maybe baking a sourdough loaf, Mr. Garnett and Ms. Lopez threw themselves into a more intense quarantine project: building a greenhouse in the yard.

“We had a lot of time on our hands,” Ms. Lopez said. “It was a great distraction.”

The two were already avid gardeners, but building a small house from the ground up involved unrelated skills. So they enlisted the help of Mr. Garnett’s stepfather, an electrician, for what Mr. Garnett described as “the more technical stuff that was over my head.” But otherwise, they built the 8-by-12-foot structure using a wood frame and UV-protected plastic film, picking up supplies from Home Depot and using plans “Frankensteined” from photos online.

When they finished, the real work began. Faced with triple-digit heat over the summer, they opened vents and ran a fan to keep plants from scorching. They decided to keep most of their vegetables in the yard, using the greenhouse for their tropical plants, including an avocado tree, some bird-of-paradise trees, and one looming monstera plant that now stretches 10 feet across the greenhouse. Now, as winter approaches, they’re preparing to install a heater to keep things toasty.

Read more at The New York Times ((Dorie Chevlen)


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