Just a dumb play on words, but here’s a cat proudly using the catwalk in our milk greenhouse. The temperature in the building was a balmy 33 degrees while it was zero outside, so I found several cats sprawled out sunning themselves in here.
Most people try to keep their milk cool so it doesn’t curdle and begin to transform itself into cheese. The dairy we feed the pigs is already curdled, but our challenge this time of year is keeping the pigs’ milk and whey warm enough to avoid freezing, so we’re glad for the heat that the greenhouse garners. This greenhouse is dug into the hillside; the left wall in the picture is resting at ground level and the right wall is about six feet above the ground on a ponywall, hence the need for the catwalk to inspect the milk levels in the tanks. The plastic on this greenhouse is five years old, so it is starting to tatter, but I can’t complain since it was only rated for four years.
When I built the greenhouse, I thought I could make it multipurpose: using it as a brooder building for poultry in the late winter and starting plants in it during the spring. Multipurpose structures are one of those ideas that sound great and make sense in theory, but in practice they are difficult to achieve. Trying to make a structure serve multiple uses, when timing doesn’t always work out and where the different temperature needs conflict, just creates a lot of frustration. So while I still appreciate the ideal and look for multipurpose opportunities, I try not to overdo it. If an implement or a structure can one thing well, then I’m happy. If it can do two things well, then that’s a bonus. This greenhouse just does one thing, but it serves my needs admirably.
The cats (and the occasional chickens that sneak in) might note that it serves them well as a sunroom, so perhaps the multipurpose ideal has been achieved after all.