Volunteers are building a massive greenhouse at Pitney Meadows Community Farm — one that will soon be the setting of a fundraiser feast cooked over fire pits.
“It’s like an old-fashioned barn raising,” said Paul Arnold, a Pitney Meadows board member who has built three similar greenhouses at his farm in Argyle and is directing the project. “Everybody’s pitching in.”
About 100 volunteers are helping with improvements at the farm, said PMFC spokesman Dan Forbush. On top of the greenhouse work, they’re also nearly done building a 55-plot community garden.The fundraiser will support the group’s efforts to convert the property into a community-supported farm and agricultural resource center, with trails for hiking, biking and cross-country skiing.
At 6,200 square feet, the high-tunnel greenhouse has room for up to 300 people, according to a prepared statement from PMCF. The nonprofit purchased the 166-acre property on West Avenue from the Pitney family — which owned the farm for 154 years — for $2.43 million in December. In addition to hosting events, the greenhouse will also be used to grow vegetables.
A row of 37 steel arches will support a sensor-controlled polyethylene sheet that rolls up to increase sunlight and rolls down to retain warmth, the nonprofit said. The greenhouse will also have a sensor-controlled vent, which will open as needed to let heat out and close to keep it in, depending on the outside temperature.
The greenhouse was manufactured by Quebec-based Harnois Greenhouses and is the “strongest, most durable high tunnel on the market,” Arnold said.
And he said it will be…
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