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Musings About Family, Travel And Gardening With Allen Martinson.


Under Pressure

THE COLORADO GREENHOUSE saga continues. When I got home from Denver last week it was ten o’clock on Monday night. On Tuesday the truck full of houseplants was parked in the Garden Works parking lot. The truck with the pottery from Vietnam came in while the houseplants were getting unloaded. The truck full of shrubs and trees came in just as it was time to take a break. It was a crazy day, but I think days like this are the best way to get my feet back on the ground. I certainly didn’t have to muddle around wondering what to do or think for one moment that I was having a hard time getting going.

The crew at the nursery made great headway on getting the plants unwrapped, grouped together, priced and displayed. The pottery crew began breaking the pallets down, getting them priced and stacked up so we can help customers pick out the right pots for the right place. It seems crazy sometimes the amount of work that goes into getting a thing ready for displays just so we can load it right back up into someone’s car. That is the name of the game, but it can be like a vicious circle. At the end of that day, I have to admit that I was crawling in the bed before it was dark. I knew the truck with the greenhouses would be pulling up to the unload spot at 7:00 the next morning and the crew that helped me take them down would be there ready to roll.

WHEN WE ROLLED the door up everything was in good shape and had not shifted much. It took us about eight hours to get everything off the truck and neatly stacked. The pile really didn’t represent the amount of work that went into getting the greenhouses down and trucked home. We put some weed barrier down on the ground before unloading so we wouldn’t have to weed eat around all that stuff in case it takes us a while to get them back up again. I am going to take some older greenhouses down then put these new ones in their place. We will have to prepare over a half-acre for the new greenhouses and we will have to make sure the drainage is adequate. Bad drainage in a greenhouse can be a disaster with all the watering that will be happening in there for the next twenty years.

We got finished with the unload, I paid everyone for their time traveling to Colorado and the week that we spent getting them down. I told everyone to take a couple days off and spend time with their wives and children. The next day Max and I met with a demo crew to talk about getting the sight ready. We will start on that after our next trip back to Colorado which we are on now.

MAX AND I are headed back up there in a truck and a gooseneck trailer to get the six-foot posts out of the ground. There are 370 posts with three feet of concrete on each one underground and three feet above ground that the hoops slide down into. When I got home, I received price quotes from four different steel companies to see how much it would cost me to replace those posts. Just like everything else right now the price of galvanized posts has tripled.

The price to replace them would be $16,000, that would not fit into the budget so we have to go back and figure out how to get them home. When I get to a tough one like this that I don’t really know how I will pull this off I go around asking and calling everyone that I know that might have the bright idea that might just work.

The general consensus that I gathered is to get a track hoe with a jack hammer attachment. I will aim the jack hammer towards the concrete where it goes into the ground hopefully cracking the concrete. Max will have a railroad pry bar with a strap attached to it laying over a metal wheel for leverage. We hope he will be able to pry the metal posts to at least get them to move. If that doesn’t work, we will put the bucket on the track hoe and dig them up then figure out a way to get the concrete off each post. One way or another we will be coming home with those posts; I just hope its sooner than later. I don’t love being away from Mimi, I’m hoping this will be the last trip for a while.

There is so much to be done at the nursery and at home to get ready for the fall season. We did have one day at home together before I left on this excursion. We got caught up on some weeding and pruning so we are momentarily caught up with that.

Max used Saturday to gather tools and irrigation equipment for our return trip. Mimi and I used Sunday to get packed and get some nice steaks to grill for me and Max and Mimi, our last night together for a while. We turned in early so we could get an early start the next morning. Our plan was to get to get to Tulsa on the first night, look in on the ranch where he’s working now. Get an early start after that back to Joes, Colorado. We plan to get the sellers irrigation system set up on the first day that we wake up there so we are not trying to do that after the post job because I have a feeling we will be spent at the end of that. The rental equipment will show up that same afternoon so if there is a little daylight left, we can go into the field and mess around with those posts. If our plan works, we might be done in three days. If our plan is flawed it could take longer, it’s exciting to figure these things out especially when there is no choice but to bring the posts back.

We like working under pressure. It changes your thinking completely when you know you have to get it done. We are about two hours from the cantina where all this will be happening, I can feel the excitement level rising the closer we get we are fine tuning our plan. By the time I get back our Bonus Bucks redemption time will be over, and we will be handing out 2022 bonus bucks. This has been our biggest year by far as far as how many bonus bucks spent during these past two months. I’m not sure if that is because we were better about giving them out at checkout time or if our customers have caught on to the amazing savings that are coming from playing the Bonus Bucks game. I guess it’s probably a combination of both.

Our grower has the fall mums well on their way and he is beginning to prepare for the other fall plants that we will grow right there at Garden Works. It’s hard to get in the mood for fall in this kind of heat. The pumpkins have been ordered way in advance in case there is some weird COVID thing that prevents us from getting what we need for our favorite season. I think that by mid-September we will see a little break in the temperatures, and we can move forward. I hope we can all dance around this virus and stay safe, we must help each other out while we get this mess back under control.

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