Trailer trash?

So in glancing through the Action Shopper, a local classified ad paper, i noticed an intriguing entry. For a mere $23,000 i could be the proud owner of a two bedroom trailer on three acres in beautiful, Chatham. It’s not the trailer i’m after. My guess is that it’s a piece of shit that would be a barely tolerable living space. But it might provide a living space until something else can be put up, and since the loan for the land and the trailer would probably require next to nothing each month putting something up is a realistic possibility.

I could use three acres. That’s enough for a big garden, a couple of pigs and fair amount of poultry. I really don’t care about the pigs so much except that nothing builds better garden plots than last years pig pen.

But what really intrigues me…

See, i like living here in the great, white North. Except that it’s cold and that makes the growing season short. What i really want is to live here…only with a Mediterranean climate. And for that i have a plan.

I want to build a house inside a greenhouse, a big greenhouse. I’m thinking commercial greenhouse here, so 30-40 feet wide at 72-90 feet long. The inner house would be no more than 1000 sq ft with a nice basement to match.

I know that a big house with the 8mm polycarbonate sheeting (which is good for 25+ years and the steel framing is good forever) can be had for about $30,000. The house inside would be simple, and free from shit like snowload requirements and the like i envision strawbale construction. In other words, picture a Greek island house and you’ve got it…only with 2′ thick walls that are nothing but insulation.

Yes, it would be rather warm in the summer. Ever been to Greece, it’s frickin’ hot. But with sidewalls that open and a ridgeline vent it wouldn’t be that hot. Vines for shading the SW of the house would help. And if all else fails there’s evaporative cooling.

The win would be fall, winter and spring. Even in the depths of winter, an unheated house is significantly warmer than outside. On a sunny day they get quite warm. Spring comes at least two months sooner and fall sticks around a while longer. And of course, a minor amount of heat added at night makes a huge difference, for growing.

Oh the gardens – edible and decorative – i could have with Zone 7/8 plants. I could be growing cantaloupe like mad. I’d be in frickin’ heaven. Oh, and i’d never have to shovel the walk or the steps. Sure, i realize that it would never rain. That’s what the gutters and cisterns would be for. Then i could make it rain only where i wanted it to rain and when i wanted it to rain.

Maybe i’d be miserable, but for the moment i can’t think of anything that would make me happier than taking controlled environment horticulture to the logical extreme: controlled environment living. Cause i’m picturing sitting on my patio on a sunny day in February wearing jeans and a sweater to read a book.


~ by Lex on January 18, 2010.

3 Responses to “Trailer trash?”

  1. Never dream small!

  2. A trailer in Chatham, eh? Can’t be that far from the Ohmstead, I’m guessing… With any luck, the dude would pay you to help him catch his sheep.

  3. Yes, dream big…and what could be a bigger dream than M-94 frontage.

    I don’t know how far from Rock River Rd, this place is…but in Chatham everyone is your neighbor. You tally “bad” and “good” by whether they’re likely to catch your sheep for your or shoot them and not say anything.

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