TRIFFID PARK MOVES TO SOMERVILLE, VICTORIA WITH NEW OWNERS.
THIS IS A DIARY OF OUR NURSERY'S BUILDING PROGRESS.
On the 1st July 2007, Donna and Jason Smith became the new owners of Triffid Park (Aust) Pty Ltd.
Jason and Donna purchased a 15 acre property in Somerville, Victoria, a south-eastern suburb of Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula to build the new modern Triffid Park. The property has a nice house on it, so they can live on site to attend to the daily running of the business. The Freeway from Melbourne brings you straight to our gateway by car. Depending on the traffic it is about a 45 minute to 1 hour car drive from Melbourne, and 1 - 1 1/2 hours from Melbourne airport. The Somerville train station is only 4 kilometres away, and it takes 1 hour and 15 minutes by train from Melbourne.
The new Triffid Park carnivorous plant growing nursery will be one large modern, environmentally friendly, state of the art building - 32 metres x 40 metres in size. It will be rain gutter connected, with the entire room span designed to catch all rain water that falls on it into 2 x 50,000 litre water tanks, which can then be used to water the plants, thus allowing us to be water conscious and environmentally friendly.
The roof vents will open to allow fresh air in to cool the houses and let hot air escape on warmer days, and close when the temperature drops to retain heat. The roof vents will have shade cloth covers in them to stop larger insects, birds and bats from entering the growing houses for quarantine purposes. Thermal screens will close at night to retain heat from escaping through the roof. Summer screens will slide across inside the house when the sun is too bright on the plants. Foggers will operate from the water tanks to cool the houses if the temperature in them gets too hot, and help to create humidity. Circulation fans will operate on a timer to circulate air within the houses. Gas heaters will turn on when the temperature inside 3 of the houses drops below the set temperature.
We will also have our potting and packing shed under this one roofline, so that no plants have to leave their growing environment to be potted or packed. A conservatory type room will also be under the roof line of the growing house so that garden clubs, school groups and other groups have an area for talks and lectures before touring the growing rooms. Each different growing area i.e. Sarracenias, Dionaeas, Nepenthes, Pinguiculas and the propagating house will all be individually temperature controlled to re-create their required environments. The large Sarracenia house will be fitted with rolling benches to utilize more floor space with plants.
6th MARCH 2008
FINALLY - our plans have been passed by council - 8 months.
We are yet to receive the stamped permit, but the plans have been passed, and we can move forward from here with progress. We are hoping to receive the stamped planning permit next week, then all we need is the building permit, which we are told will only take a couple of days to put together.
FRIDAY 28TH MARCH
HOORAY! - HOORAY! - HOORAY!
We picked up the stamped Planning Permit from the council office today. Now the information has been sent off for the Building permit.
26th APRIL - 4TH MAY 2008
A whole day was spent with the electrician digging ditches and laying cables for the electrical wires underground. These all run back to a central box which will house the computer system.
Then another whole day was spent with the plumber digging more ditches and laying more pipe for the underground water. This will service the watering of the whole nursery via tank water collected from the roof guttering. Pipes had to be laid for sinks, toilet, fertiliser system and capillary watering system.
THURSDAY 8TH MAY
Crushed rock was dropped, spread and rolled 75mm thick over the entire growing house for our floor.
MONDAY 12TH MAY
Today the truck arrived with the frame work for our new carnivorous plant growing house. By the end of the day they had laid out all the posts on the ground in the positions where they are to be mounted.
By the 21st MAY, the wall frames are up.
28TH MAY 2008
The domed roof is up, waiting for the roof vents to be mounted in.
5TH JUNE 2008
This week all of the plastic walls have been put on and the steel structures for the roof vents were welded in. Trenches were dug today 5th June for gas and power in from the road.
26th JUNE 2008
The internal poly walls are put in to separate each growing room, so that they can all be individually temperature, light and humidity controlled. The cables are put in to hang the thermal and shade screens from. There will be 2 screens - thermal screens for winter which give 75% shade and 70% energy saving. These have a plastic coating to stop the heating escaping through it. And shade screens for summer which give 73% shade and 30% energy saving. These don't have the plastic coating but have air gaps so that the heat can escape on warmer days.
9th JULY 2008
Our 2 x 50,000 litre water tanks arrive. We have had a lot of rain and the ground is very muddy. It took 4 hours to back the truck up the drive, unload and place the tanks. The 3 wheel, 4 WD forklift, kept getting bogged and had to be pulled with a tractor.
19TH JULY 2008
The builder has finally finished building our carnivorous plant nursery! Now we are waiting on the thermal/shade screens, foggers, fans and rolling benches to be installed. As to date, the thermal and shade screens have been installed in the Nepenthes, Propagating and Venus Fly Trap houses.
30th JULY 2008
All of our nursery stock was brought home in two horse floats, load after load every day on our way home from the old nursery at Keysborough. Benches, capillary trays, pots, labels, boxes .... everything had to be moved. But where to put it all? Why not along our driveway, on our lawn, in our carport, anywhere we could fit it until the new growing house is ready to accommodate them.
27th August - 10th September 2008.
Finally we have some benches in the houses and we can start filling them up with plants.
Triffid Park became members of the NGIV - Nursery and Garden Industry of Victoria, this month. This gives us access to more selling avenues for both our carnivorous and water plants, as well as being able to attend and sell at the monthly wholesale Trade Days.
12 months has passed since we moved premises to the new Triffid Park. And WOW what a busy year we have had! Our new nursery is continually being improved with irrigation, and internal improvements still taking place. We recently installed a kitchen for staff and visitors. A wash area with sink and bench has been installed for preparing export orders. A clear fronted fertiliser cabinet has been added to our plant preparation room, which sends fertiliser through underground pipes to each growing room as needed. And our piece de resistance - two hanging racks, almost the entire length of our growing room, with 9 lines on each rack, to hang the nepenthes on, with a watering dripper for every basket. The plants are all relishing their new growing environment. All the preparation and time we took to install modern growing systems has certainly paid off, with the plants looking better than ever. The Sarracenias are coming up earlier after winter, the nepenthes are flourishing and the fly traps are growing so fast, we have filled the entire fly trap house and have had to put more in other rooms!
More to come. I just wanted to copy what we had on our old web site before I lost it into hyperspace.