[Market-farming] QUESTION: High tunnels

Kevin Wilson kevin.wilson100 at shaw.ca
Sun Nov 14 12:33:35 EST 2004

>I've never used high tunnels and am wondering if they would be adaptable
>to our rotations in this rainy windy tropical climate.  For example, if
>Is it
>advisable for all thumbs (green though) folks to build by self or better
>to buy kit?   Are high tunnels workable on sloped land or need the
>surface be pretty flat?  Any advice, suggestions, experience, thoughts
>would be greatly appreciated.

I built our first high tunnel this spring in a our windy rainy location. We
used 3/4" schedule 40 PVC pipe for the hoops, fitted over rebar stakes, with
plywood strengthening panels / stud frame at the ends. For bird netting and
maybe shade cloth you should be able to just use clamps to hold them onto
the frame since they won't have as much wind resistance as the plastic.

Burying the plastic edges is good for wind but you can't then roll up the
sides easily, which we needed to do. We ended up with the edges of the
plastic rolled around long battens, and a concrete block on top of the roll
to hold it down at each hoop location (about every 3 feet). The plastic
edges were wrapped around the plywood sections at the ends of the house and
held with multiple spring clamps. (There was a separate sheet of plastic
covering each end, with a door in it). This survived 60 km/h winds. Wind
survival is better if the ends are open, since the wind just goes straight
on through. We found that the side *away* from the wind direction is the one
that tends to lift up, due to lift generated by the wind blowing over the
curved surface of the house.

General pics are here:
in the FFarm 4/04 and Veg 6/04folders, mainly.

Hope that helps

Kevin Wilson
Fiddlers Farm, Powell River, BC, Canada

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