MOTHER EARTH NEWS

Come Rain or Shine

I’ve been farming my whole life. When I met my friend Richard about four years ago, we discovered that we’d both spent our entire lives on the same path to self-sufficiency, thanks to Mother earth News.

Together, we designed this roll-top solution for our cold frames. As a frost buffer for the plants inside, we built a wooden framework on top of the cold frame and then covered it with sheet plastic. The framework’s front is 12 inches tall, angling up to 18 inches tall in the back. The cover of the framework is simply a piece of greenhouse plastic tacked down along the framework’s back side. The front edge of the plastic is sandwiched between two 1x2s. These 1x2s extend the length of the cold frame to keep the weight of the wood from ripping the plastic off. The weight of the 1x2s keeps the plastic in place when closed (see Photo 1). To open the cold frame, I simply roll the 1x2 toward the back edge, wrapping the plastic around it. To keep the rolled plastic in place at the back of the framework, I screwed

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