In 2014, after working for five years for my former employer, I bought a small local business that I renamed Northern Flowers. I took over the business in Anchorage, Alaska, where I had two greenhouses and grew flowers and veggies that you could find in retail stores and local farmer's market. My business flourished and in august of this year, 2017, I decided to expand the operation. I bought a piece of land in Palmer, an hour outside of Anchorage, a city where you can find most of the farmers of the Anchorage/Mat-Su area.
In September, the ground work started; I had to clear the land, build a driveway, build the greenhouse pad and bring the utilities. The cost of these services was higher than expected but I was still in my budget.
In October, my husband and I started the construction of the greenhouses. We built the structures in less than a month. The next step was to cover up the greenhouses with the plastic which we did in one day with the help of several friends.
Unfortunately two days later, the strong winds arrived, up to 65mph, and it blew for a couple of days, ripping the plastic off one greenhouse and damaging the other ones before we even had the chance to close in the end walls. A little discouraged, we fixed what we could and ordered new poly film. We knew Palmer to be challenged by strong winter winds, but we didn’t realize that we were in the middle of the path. On a calm day we put up the new poly and again the day after another storm with winds as strong as 60 mph ruined the same exposed greenhouse.
Frustrated, I made the decision to build a wall, a windbreak, 12 feet tall, which will supposedly protect the greenhouses during future wind storms. The cost of that wall and the repairs for the damaged structures are outrageous, without counting the time wasted on labor.
The construction of the windbreak has started and we are still working on building the greenhouses, one of them still not being covered to this day. I am now over my initial budget. I have two months left before the next season starts and the plants arrive and still a lot of materials to buy in order to have the greenhouses up and running in time.
I am asking for your generosity to help a small local business continue to serve and provide the community with beautiful local flowers and vegetables.
I thank you in advance for your donation and will keep you posted on the progress of the project.
See below the construction of the windbreak, the greenhouses and some of the flowers I grow...
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