Building a Chase barn cloche was all the rage in the 1930s, and making one is simple by connecting pieces of glass with a metal frame to protect delicate plants from harsh weather. See examples of Chase barn cloches with information from a sustainable gardener in this free video on gardening.
Hi this is Yolanda Vanveen and in this segment we are going to talk about how to make a chase barn cloche. Now the word cloche is very mysterious and no one knows how to pronounce it , it's c l o c h e, and it's a French word and it means bell. So it's pronounced like clothes but with a sh on the end so cloche. Now basically a cloche is just a little tiny mini greenhouse that the French marketers used to put over their plants at the market place. So if there was a little bit of frost or any worries of frost and they wanted to sell their herbs, lets say in February or March, or late into the fall, they would just put a little bell a glass bell, over the top of the plant at the market. And that way the plant would be protected from the winds and from the frost. And they could sell these herbs and flowers way into the season in the fall and early in the season in the spring. So a cloche is just a glass kind of bell shaped cover over a plant. And so you just protecting that plant from the elements. In the nineteen thirties in America, there was a distributor of fine brass and metals called the Chase Company. So the Chase Company was a producer of brass and copper products and they were from Connecticut. And they distributed through major department stores in America. So in the nineteen thirties it was all the rage to buy the metal so that you could make your own Chase Barn Cloche. So the Chase Barn Cloche was really just a barn shaped mini greenhouse that you put over your tender plants in the early spring so that you could start a lot of the vegetables early in the season. So basically you are just building a barn and then the metal is used to hold the pieces of glass together. So you just need two pieces of glass for the top, and two pieces of glass for the sides. So you are just making a big tunnel over a row of plants and then you just use the metal to connect the two pieces of glass. So pretty much any type of hinge would work and you can get metal hinges or plastic hinge to put the two pieces of glass together. And then that way they will stand on their own and you can add to them so if you want a longer chase barn cloche you can create a whole row of a mini greenhouse for your garden.