Tag Archives: hoophouse

Radical new hoop house design to save you time and money (Edited)

Since being transplanted to Ohio and taking a short hiatus from full time farming, I’ve been wanting to do some backyard growing. I knew that I wanted a small hoop house, but the design was escaping me. So many of the different small houses I had built were too flimsy, or didn’t have a door, or just too much work. So I thought and thought, for around 3 months before I came up with this design. It has only been up for 2 weeks, so it’s not thoroughly tested, but so far, it seems to work.  Let me know what you think!!


 

After I shared this video, Eliot Coleman emailed me that he had used this design back on a house in 2002 to overwinter field crops. Good designs always reappear.

Eliot Coleman slanted endwall 2002

A similar house that eliot designed back in 2002

Do you have ideas to make this a better design?  Comment below!!

Speaking Engagement: Maximizing Profits through Year-round Wholesale Production

_MG_74701I will be speaking in East Freedom, PA on April 9th. The event is sponsored by several Pennsylvanian agricultural organizations and is FREE!  It will be a full day event with me covering several topics.

  • Winter vegetable production- I will cover what we have learned in 10 years of winter production. From varieties, to tunnel management, to seeding dates, you will leave this workshop knowing how to grow during the winter months.
  • Season Extension- In this workshop, I will cover how we s-t-r-e-t-c-h the season to provide greater product diversity in the spring and fall, as well as cool season crops during the mid-summer heat like spinach and lettuce. The emphasis will be on larger-scale wholesale quantities. Yes you can have spinach from April to December from the field!
  • Wholesale marketing and food safety- In the last couple years our farm has scaled up, received certified organic status, and focused heavily on food safety so that we could sell to larger, wholesale buyers. We’ll talk about our journey and demystify wholesale markets, GAPS, and food safety!

This is my main speaking engagement of the spring, don’t miss it! Attached is a flyer of the event. April9_Flyer

From the Haygrove people….

Received this email from Harry at Haygrove Tunnels. It has some great information I wanted to pass on.

 

Dear Growers,

 Good day to you.  I hope you are making the most of this long winter to do extensive crop planning for this coming Spring. It’s also a great time to finish up those repair projects and I’ve included some resources that I have found helpful for each of those tasks in this letter.

 Perhaps most importantly, if you are planning to buy and build high tunnels for this coming season, it is not yet too late.  Please contact me this coming week to make the arrangements.

 If a delay is beyond your control, you can build a Haygrove over planted crops, however you’ll miss the early season opportunity this year, but will still get all of the crop protection benefits like reduced disease pressure and higher yields and fewer culls.  

 When planting for high tunnel coverage, plant your crops on row centers that are divisible into 24′ wide bays.  So 2′, 3′, 4′, 6′, 8′ and 12′ centers all work ideally depending on the crop.  For early snow peas, I have used 3′ spacing, for tomatoes and cucumbers I use 6′ centers and for raspberries I use 8′ centers.  (When I park the cultivator inside the Gothic for the winter, it’s on 12′ center;-)

 ———-

 Here are some resources that I’ve found useful lately.  Perhaps you will find some value here too?

First low-risk planting dates:

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/e-PDGSeedStart.aspx

Another crop management resource:

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/hil/

Carburetor Rebuilding, mail order service.  This guy rebuilt the carburetor for my 1942 David Bradley this winter and did a nice job.  He even manufactured a new needle valve for it:

http://www.farmersserviceinc.com/carbrebuild.htm

Or, if you’d rather do the repair yourself and just need some tips from a professional, check out the 700+ videos by this instructor. The Small Engine Doctor, Youtube Channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/donyboy73?feature=watch

Check here for a daily pricing report from Park Slope CoOp in NY, NY.  I use this as a comparative base for my pricing.  With some cross-checking, it is possible to adjust this by a fixed percentage to suit your wholesale or retail market.  For instance, if you usually sell your cucumbers at 20% less than these prices and you are introducing a new crop like arugula to your market, I’d introduce it at 20% less than this price list and then adjust it from there later.  Remember, this is a low cost retail food outlet in NYC.  The neighborhood is expensive, but the CoOp members provide 75% of the labor for free:

http://foodcoop.com/go.php?id=90

Super regards,

Harry Edwards

Haygrove Tunnels

717.606.8021