The cool thing about Eden and Valhalla? Well, unlike most high tunnels, these two buildings MOVE! And Valhalla recently had a moving day.
|Valhalla was in its West position|
|But, we wanted it moved to the East position.|
We admit that this move happened later than we planned, but the season has forced us to make some choices that lead us to this situation. Tammy and I moved Valhalla on a Saturday with no other helpers. It took longer than it has most years because there were a few roadblocks, but we figure it was time well spent. We actually managed to take some pictures during the process this year which means we can FINALLY give everyone a moving day rundown!
|Step 1, clear the tracks|
|Step 2 - free up the apron plastic|
|Oh, ok. It's just some t-posts.|
|Step 3 - put the wheels BACK on the track|
Step 4 - Pound in the anchoring posts that secure the track
Unfortunately, the pictures I have of this just don't show what I'm talking about. Suffice it to say that there are rebar stakes that hold the track to the ground. These tend to pull up a bit over the course of the year, so they all need to be pounded back in with a 3 pound hammer. If they are not put back down, the risers on the building will catch on them and you have to stop the moving process until they ARE down.
|Step 6 - admire the crops currently in the building|
Tammy can be seen at the left cleaning up the track INSIDE of the building. What? You though we only had to clean the track outside the building? Silly you! Any obstructions on the track tend to cause difficulties during the move. So, thank you, Tammy, for clearing the tracks!
|Step 7 - take the doors off of each end|
|Step 8 - can you see the difference in this picture from the step 6 picture?|
Remember, you can click on images to see a bigger picture. So, what do you see that is different here? Yes, the tracks are clean. Good job, Tammy. Maybe the crops have grown just a wee bit since the last picture?
Step 8 - remove the T-Posts that secure the end walls
I realized AFTER I pulled the t-stakes that I hadn't really taken a good picture of them. But, since the building moves, we have to be able to raise the end walls in some fashion to allow it to move. When the building is in place, there has to be a way to secure those end walls to the ground.
|Step 9 - take bolts out of end wall that attaches end wall flap|
This is usually the step where one of us trudges back to the garage to get the socket set that we didn't bring out with us to take these bolts off.
|Step 10 - take the poly-carbonate cover off the corners over the tracks|
These little pieces of poly-carbonate keep the critters out in the corners over the tracks. Unfortunately, you can't lift the tracks when they are on, so we have to take them off.
|Step 11 - dig out the flaps|
|Step 12 - Raise the flaps and tie them up|
And, step 13 - nest the roll up bars on top of these flaps so they don't create drag when you move the building.
At this point, the building is pretty much ready to move EXCEPT, we have yet to disconnect it from all of its anchor points with the exception of the end walls. If the wind were to pick up at this point, we have the option of putting the flaps back down and closing the building up.
But, things were fine, so we decided to proceed.
|Step 14 - disconnect the building from the track|
|Step 15 - loop turnbuckes onto hip 'board' to avoid making these an obstacle when moving the building.|
|Step 16 - take off the turnbuckles that connect the building to ground anchors|
|Step 17 - inspect everything one more time|
"Please, Valhalla, will you move to the Eastern position that we have meticulously prepared for you?"
And then you....
|Hook the building up to your tractor (Rosie) with a rope|
Oh. I forgot that part.
In any event, this process is slow and deliberate and usually includes several stops when wheels pop off the track or we identify a potential issue as we move the building.
|Oh look! Valhalla DID move. Yay!|
The temptation at this point is to celebrate and go eat lunch, or some such thing. But, the building is still not secured. So, we need to reattach the turnbuckles to ground stakes and the track (there are ground stakes set for each position the tunnel resides in) and it is a good idea to at least put the flaps down before you have a sandwich.
After lunch, which was a bit late on this particular day, you get to put the building back together again.
The final steps? Prep the soil and plant your crops.