Page Created: 2003 September 03
Page Last Updated: 2011 October 18

Welcome to the Starlight Cascade website of Kim & Kevin!
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Starlight Cascade in Eastern Ontario Canada near Yarker, about 25 minutes northwest of Kingston, Ontario in the Township of Stone Mills

Greenhouse

2005 September 24th we completed the 8'x12' greenhouse . Here is a view of the inside racks . On the roof are four 2'x8' clear polycarbonate sections, giving 64 ft^2 of sunlight. On the front are two 2'x8' sections, giving an additional 32 ft^2 of sunlit area. The building is not insulated (yet) but is holding it's own quite well in the freezing temperatures we have been getting already. An eavestrough and downspout have since been added. A cold frame will be added to the south side of the greenhouse in the near future. This will allow the plants from inside the greenhouse in the spring, to transition to the outside a little better.

2007 August: Greenhouse feature Summary

  • Added a two-sink stainless steel kitchen sink to the outside of the greenhouse within reach of pressurized water. Helps to clean the garlic
  • Three vents on the north side just below the roof line had inside opening flaps. These did not work at all. Rain constantly came in. They were replaced with outside flaps pull up with rope from the inside, using eyehooks and pulleys. Each rope has two knots that allow the flaps to open to two positions, halfway and fully open. Halway is good to use on rainy days.
  • Leaks inside coming from the top of the roof panels. We resiliconed the screws that held the roof panels in place and that has slowed down the amount of water getting in, but there still needs to be more work done on the roof to stop it completely.
  • Two new shelving units were installed on the north wall as high as possible, to replace the open shelves that used to be there, to help protect from leaks plus expand the shelf space a lot.
  • A used bathroom exhaust fan is mounted on the north wall just below the roof line. Eventually it will be controlled by an old mercury switch thermostat so that it will come on when it gets too hot. For now it is controlled by a mechanical timer that turns on around 10:00 and turns off around 18:00
  • Rainwater on the outside is collected into three 200litre rain barrels for use in the vegetable gardens.
  • Growlight slung under top rack provides a two 4' fluorescent gro light bulbs to the bottom rack for spring planting.

    2007 September: We have had a persistent leak in the roof where the plywood meets the windows. Lots of paint, silicon slowed it a little. Silicon on the window screws also helped a little. On Sept 04 we added another 26"x8' sheet of green polycarbonate to the top plywood section in hopes of diverting a lot of the water away from the leaky roof section. Rearranged inside shelving a bit to allow for tool hooks to be installed on walls to hang up big tools.

    2008 April: The 2'x8' roof poly blew/ripped off in a winter storm and water was coming into the greenhouse again. On 20080422, we added three more 2'x8' poly panels and will add two more to completely cover (almost) the roof helping to reduce the heat load and chanelling rainfall away from the leaky areas. Thin cloth was also stapled to the inside light panels to help diffuse the light and reduce direct sunlight on the plantlings. Seeds were planted on Sunday April 06. A small ceramic heater was put in under the plantling area for overnight and a new bathroom exhaust fan was installed on a timer to vent extreme daytime heat. Even so it hits 34 deg in the daytime and down to 10 or so at night. In addition we have plastic covers to minimize the airspace around the seedlings and that helps as well to control the swings in temperature at night.
    2008 June: All plants out of greenhouse and in the ground.. time to start looking at reflooring, insulating and storage in the greenhouse.
    2008 September 06: emptied out greenhouse and installed 3/8 styrofoam and 5/8" OSB flooring. Level, safe, and much tighter. Unfortunately the roof is still leaking in a couple of places... the roofing cover does not work against the winds we get here... so at some point in the near future, off it comes and on goes some ice and water shield and asphalt shingles.
    2008 October: removed all of the green poly roof panels that covered the plywood. Added a layer of ice and water shield and then spare 40 year shingles from the house. Took about 5 hours. caulked around interface between clear poly panels and the shingles and most leaks have stopped!
    2010 June: The chipmunks got in through the metal insect screen. So we covered the vent windows with heavy guage metal mesh. Then they got through the gap in the screen door. So we fixed that. Then they got in through the exhaust vent and chewed through the wires of the fan itself! That got covered with mesh as well.
    2010 August: replaced the exhaust fan with another 50cfm exhaust fan and placed it back on the timer which turns it on in the heat of the day. Still looking for a thermostat controlled outlet/power bar.

  • We replaced the large screen door that had to be physically unlocked, picked up and moved out of the way, with a hole cut in the main door, approx 1'x2', screened in with a hinged cover to close it right back up again. Works much better!
    2011 June: emptied out greenhouse and insulated the north wall with styrofoam and plywood sheating. Found a nice mouse nest in behind some of the cupboards. We then redesigned the floor plan and moved items back in, in a new and better fashion. Works much better now.
    2011 October: Still getting the occasional mouse getting inside somehow. Luckily we have 8 mousetraps inside. No damage to any of the seeds inside ... so far! Despite high winds and heavy rain, there has been no rain getting inside!

    TODO:

  • Insulate the wood parts of the ceiling (with an eye to lowering heating costs in the spring by the use of the electric heater when we are starting plants).
  • Redesign the main two racks and change to three levels of racks, 8' long
  • Insulate the doors
  • Insulate the door screen area as wind and snow gets in in the winter (ie a large blanket?)


    Contact kevin (at) starlightcascade (dot) ca for information or comments on this site.