Greenhouse Siege Tower


Siege Tower at Greenhouse

Every castle needs a siege tower, no? Ours lifts my feet up 16′ so I can easily reach 21′ up in the air to do work on the top rafters and purloins of our rising greenhouse on the south field plateau. Will built this siege tower which weighs about 360 lbs. A nice round number. That is not including the weight of the tractor it attaches to for mobility.

The siege tower is able to be positioned at multiple heights from 8′ to 16′ so that we can work on different parts of the greenhouse from a safe 8’x8′ platform. In the middle of the platform is an anchor bolt with an eye to clip in with a carabiner for my climbing harness. I’m not afraid of heights but I would rather not be worried about falling while also manipulating the roughly 50′ long 2.375″ thick steel ribs of the greenhouse.


Plan for Storming Castles

For putting up large greenhouses I’ve seen other people rent bucket lifts but that isn’t feasible for us in part because they would simply be difficult if not impossible to get into the location. I also want it available longer than is economically feasible to rent.

Our tractor has a wide base of 8′ and the strength to safely lift the load. The removable lower legs of the tower provide two more feet on the ground during use when it is up at it’s higher heights. Remember, always keep all six feet on the ground for stability – two feet plus four wheels in park.

The tractor can lift the tower a foot taller. We built it slightly lower than the tractor’s lift max so the tractor fork lift loader arms can lift the siege tower one foot up in the air to clear the ground for when we need to move to a new position. The lifting and moving is only done when everyone is safely down on the ground. Safety first.

The forms are recycled concrete forms from building the butcher shop. Some of the forms for the butcher shop were recycled from building the south field, some of those come from building the cottage and some of that wood came from the old hay shed. Reuse, reuse, reuse…

Outdoors: 24°F/4°F Cloudy
Tiny Cottage: 65°F/60°F

Daily Spark: One man’s invasive is another man’s crop.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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16 Responses to Greenhouse Siege Tower

  1. Ed Allison says:

    I suppose you’ll be building trebuchets next for the castle defenses, huh?
    Merry Christmas to you and yours Walter!

  2. am in the pm says:

    Thought it was going to be a zip line in the making.

  3. Edmund Brown says:

    I like your daily sparks. Today’s I love. I’ve got a trial running right now where I’m growing bamboo to extend the grazing season for my cattle. The preliminary results are promising, but I’ve already had two people tell me that planting “invasives” is dangerous and evil.

    Invasive Biology is a good read. I got my copy when it was in print for $10, which is about what that title should cost. It changed my perspective on how “bad” invasives are in many (most) cases.

    • Peter says:

      Disagree. I, for example, do not want bamboo growing amok in my yard, growing up under my deck for example where I cannot get at it. (Of course, dependent on whether you grow clumping bamboo, or spreading bamboo, of which the latter is what apparently a former neighboring homeowner planted some many years ago….because they owned an Asian restaurant and needed bamboo shoots for the kitchen (according to a story told to me by a former resident of the house I live in) ).

      That, and ivy, are the two banes of my existence.

      • There are two types of bamboo. One is the real thing. One is an invasive around here that gets called bamboo but really isn’t. The real thing doesn’t grow around here, other than indoors. If it escapes outside it dies. Wrong climate.

        • Peter says:

          Well, Vermont is colder than suburban Maryland, so there is that climatological difference. :-)

          I think I have trashed about 35 garbage cans full of the stuff (35-gallon can, and helpfully the county has pickup for yard waste which it recycles and makes money on) in the 7+ years I have lived here. I really should get a cheap chipper/shredder and compost it but I am too lazy.

          • This is real bamboo which won’t grow around here: Bambusoideae

            This is the invasive Japanese Knotweed which people call bamboo that does grow around here: Fallopia japonica

            The cold kills off the first one around here. The second one grows mostly in moist areas. We don’t have either here on Sugar Mountain. I’m not sure if we’re too dry, too high or if it simply hasn’t gotten introduced here. We have marshes and stream beds, habitats where it normally does well.

            Both are edible.

            Which one do you have?

  4. Peter says:

    Oh definitely the former.

    • Well get eating then! They’re good to eat and if you don’t want them turn livestock out on the knotweed. I once, in another place long ago, wiped out a colony of knotweed that was where I didn’t want it simply by laying a tarp on the ground for a year. They all died. Then I used that spot as a garden. Works.

      • Peter says:

        No I have the real bamboo not the knotweed. About the only wildlife that I can run out are the deer, rabbits, squirrels, and foxes that naturally show up in my yard (I am probably 20 miles from the White House as the crow flies).

        Also I noted that after layer 5 of the nest that the “reply” tag disappears.

        • Oops! I missread your reply. Well, the real bamboo shoots are edible too but they grow crazy fast from what I hear. Or perhaps this is a variety that isn’t the edible kind. I would still be incline to try the tarp method. Maybe they’ll pitch a tent. :) But with no light they may eventually give up.

          Interesting about the ‘reply’ tag levels. I hadn’t realized that.

          • Edmund Brown says:

            I planted several different types (genuses) of bamboo. So far the Phyllostachus bisettii looks most promising. It is a running type. I’m not worried about it going where I don’t want it – right now it is planted between a stream and a road and at most it could take over 1/2 an acre. At its current spread rate that would be many years in the future, unless I help it along…

            Bambusoideae don’t like cold at all.

  5. Tim says:

    “Some of the worms for the butcher shop…” should be “forms”

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