Wednesday 6 March 2024

Memories of the Schmidt Greenhouse, Part 2

    Sadly, everything we know disappears, and my grandparents’ greenhouse which had played such an important part in my growing up, like all of the other things of my youth, no longer exists.  It was the economy that killed it.  Originally the greenhouse was heated in the winter with coal, but that was later changed to natural gas, and when the price of fuel increased, it rose to the point where it was no longer economical to make a living growing lettuce and tomatoes in the greenhouse.  My uncle, who had taken over the greenhouse retired and for several years the greenhouse sat empty.

    There was a short revival of its use, when a local man rented it to grow roses commercially, but soon, he too fell victim to the economy, and could not compete with flowers that were flown in from South America, so once again the greenhouse stood vacant.  Of course, Nature is always eager to take advantage of empty spaces, and soon, wild plants moved in to establish themselves in the greenhouse.      

    The old greenhouse started to look like a wild botanical garden, with grasses, weeds, vines, and trees.  There were times when even deer found their way into the greenhouse.  These conditions continued for many years, until finally, my uncle had the structure torn down.  The area where the greenhouse once stood, growing lettuce and tomatoes for the community, is now a big lawn.  

    I still look back with sadness at what has become of the greenhouse, whenever I think about the days of my youth.

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