Seed Starter

A hand­crafted green­house will jump-start the spring plants.


Fash­ion a home­made green­house with plans from a mod­ern home­steader.

SHAYE EL­LIOTT DREAMED OF A GREEN­HOUSE for her Beatha Fonn Farm for as long as she could re­mem­ber. And when she and her hus­band, Stu­art, fi­nally built their 10-by-16-foot DIY ver­sion, they learned a few things about the plas­tic sheet­ing they used to cover the ex­te­rior. Although 3-inch screws are rec­om­mended for it, you re­ally need only 1-inch screws. And that’s im­por­tant. “Be­cause you’ll be screw­ing in roughly 1,203,177 screws,” she says. And “it will, quite lit­er­ally, take you three times as long to screw the plas­tic sheet­ing to the frame of the green­house.”

At theel­liot­thome­­house/ you’ll find more of Shaye’s hu­mor­ous tips, as well as de­tailed di­rec­tions for the en­tire green­house project.

Shaye El­liott lives and farms on 5 acres in north cen­tral Wash­ing­ton with her hus­band and four chil­dren. She has col­lected years of ag ad­vice in her book Wel­come to the Farm: How-To Wis­dom from the El­liott Homestead. Go to ama­ to find this witty and per­sonal guide to liv­ing off the land.

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