Ramblings of a Grower: 9

For those of you who have never been in a greenhouse before, there’s one thing they all have in common: they’re noisy. There are fans big and small that run. There may be heaters going if it is too cold. Hoses generate the familiar sound of water splatting on the ground. And in a hydroponic greenhouse you have the constant sound of the pumps running, as well as the constant tumble of water through the system. Basically, there is always some kind of ambient noise. It is quite comforting, a reassuring hum to occupy the back of my mind.

But right now, we are down for annual cleaning. There is no water flowing. There are no pumps running. No fans to circulate the air. Nothing. It is jarringly quiet. Especially for someone who has spent the last year and a half in greenhouses pretty continuously. Something just feels inherently wrong about the space. Nothing is of course. But my brain is hardwired to believe that a greenhouse means noise.

It is very strange seeing the greenhouse completely devoid of plants. Especially this one. There’s normally thousands of plants living and thriving in here. Aloes, and night blooming cereus, and lettuce, basil, greens. The air itself is different. No longer is it alive and enriched with a constant stream of fresh oxygen. It is definitely still clean air, being in the middle of the farm, but its just not quite the same. There is no smell of leafy greens. No comforting richness of peat dust floating through the air. Just quiet, still air.

And yes we should have everything back in here by friday and be back up and running by then, but for now. It is a somber and silent place. Filled only by the noise of my music and the rustling of plastic as the new farm hand helps get everything covered for cleaning.

Alas, time to continue on emptying and cleaning. Until next time my avid spam commenters.