Late Saturday night, one last check of the radio thermometer on the kitchen window sill monitoring the greenhouse temperature and things were not right. The temp read 60 degrees and falling. Night time temps we try to keep at about 70. Also, the yellow glow at the end of the greenhouse where the heater sits was scarily dark. Richard relight the propane heater a few times but to no avail. Something was wrong and we had no other decision but to haul all the flats into the house, all 175 of them. We finally finished close to midnight . We narrowly avoided disaster as all the plants would have froze that night. By Sunday PM we had it running (a broken hose) and this morning we ordered another heater to have in the barn in case of another breakdown.
Here at the farm, for better or worse , nothing is automated. Every task involving the greenhouses and all of the farm for that matter is done by hand. Venting the houses, closing the houses and monitoring the temps. Some one asked me, “don’t you have an alarm system to alert you of falling temps?” Unfortunately we don’t. It’s how we have always done things. As we grow to the next size in farming, it may be time to re-think some of our systems.