Because Calling It “Biosphere” Would’ve Been Too Easy

Posted by:
Susan Rooke
June 9, 2016

We just call it Biotrapezoidal Prism. Really? No, of course not. That’s the term Wesley, our engineer son-in-law, suggested for a house instead of a sphere, but it’s quite a mouthful.

I’ve always wanted a greenhouse, but this was unexpected. When we moved to the country last year Glen gutted and remodeled the small cabin on the property so we’d have a place to live. We knew that someday we wanted to build our “forever” house, but we weren’t yet ready. In the meantime, the cabin would do. It was built in 1980, and its 550 sq. ft. hadn’t been touched since. But Glen had a vision and years of construction experience going for him. I had the hubris that only watching hours of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper,” “Flip or Flop,” and “Property Brothers” could impart. Between the two of us the renovation turned out great, provided a level floor isn’t that important to you.

Foundation repair is expensive, and the companies that do it well have many, many customers. You have to wait weeks to take your turn, and then be prepared to pay a small fortune, even for a (very) small house. It was the first thing we looked into, but we were in a hurry to move in, and couldn’t justify spending $$$$$ on that when the house needed so much work everywhere else. So we didn’t.

The soil out here is sandy loam on top of clay. It’s constantly shifting. Last year during a spell of dry weather we had cracks in the lawn so deep they’d swallow a yardstick. Unsurprisingly, the cabin’s concrete floor cracks too. We were prepared for that, so you’d think we would have been less flabbergasted to see the tiny green plant growing out of the floor by the hearth last week.

Look at me! I'm oxygenating the cabin air!

Look at me! I'm oxygenating the cabin air!

I’d found it when sweeping that morning, and when I showed it to Glen that evening, he just sat and stared at it for a long time. Finally he said, “Lucy lies by the hearth. Maybe she brought seeds in on her fur. That could explain . . .”

“No,” I said.

After that I started checking its progress every couple of days. I’d begun to think of it as an ongoing science experiment. How well would it do with only atmospheric moisture for water, with only an hour of morning sun? Pretty well, as it turns out. By Day 5, this is what we had:

Look at us! No, seriously. Don't turn your backs for a second!

Look at us! No, seriously. Don't turn your backs for a second!

At this point I stopped being mildly intrigued and became a little creeped out. What kind of invasive vegetal alien did we have? See how the two stems on the right are beginning to reach out into the room? Yeah. They're reaching for all of us. So I decided I had to take action. I reached for them first.

Yank.

Yank.

Unfortunately, nerves got to me. My hands were trembling with the delicacy of the operation, and I tore one of the stems off above the root. We all know what that means. Odds are it’s going to rise up again. So if I don’t post here next week, wait a day or two. Then for the love of God send help . . .

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5 comments on “Because Calling It “Biosphere” Would’ve Been Too Easy”

  1. very interesting. Waiting to see the progress of the plant.Keep us up to date and tell if you find out exactly what is is and how it got there!

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