Today Patrick wants to put in the concrete slab that will form the floor of the mushroom house. It has been decided to make our own concrete manually, as getting 'ready mix' pumped in would be very expensive and risky. An early start is planned with help from Meave, James and Diane. Meave to barrow the ballast into place, James shovelling it into the mixer and Diane in the hole moving it into place. Patrick has made a chute to direct the concrete and he tips it into the correct position. I continue weeding the Brussel sprouts (and removing caterpillars) and they all work very hard. It all goes quite smoothly and they finish much quicker than expected. Everyone is covered in cement, Patrick gets cleaned up and comes out with me to Maple Cross to buy old stained glass windows that I want to glaze the ends of the polytunnel/polycrub. I pay £500 for 28 windows of varying size and quality and we drive home carefully, not quite sure how this idea will work.
Patrick then decides to put the polycarbonate sheeting on the roof of the polytunnel. The sheets are huge 6x1.2m and are being screwed to new wooden beams - we have left the old polythene in place for now. There are special screws with waterproof caps to fix down the sheet and a two part glazing bar to join the sheets together. It is a very tricky business fixing even one sheet. It is not ideal having Patrick on a ladder, so the atmosphere is tense! Each sheet takes more than two hours to install. I discover the very expensive sheeting that I have ordered (£1700) so far, is only for the roof...still more to pay!
I remove the spinach that has gone to seed and continue weeding - I keep getting called to the tunnel to help - holding ladders etc., but I do manage to get a reasonable amount done.