[Market-farming] Siting a hoophouse

Beth Spaugh lists at rhomestead.com
Tue Feb 20 14:10:42 EST 2007

I can't answer about the 1/2 hour light, but if you end up going with the
farther site, consider a kerosene salamander heater with an electric
ignition. There is a thermostat that plugs between the heaters power cord
and the power source. Not real accurate, but set at 40, the lowest is goes,
it kept things from freezing. It is not vented and that is supposed to be a
problem, but I used it in an 14 x 20 for two years before building our
larger hoophouse with furnace. That is the simple/cheap way.

But, for propane, I have seen folks use a small water heater to heat water
which is run in fin tubes under the bench. Build a frame over the bench for
row cover and plastic to roll up and down, put foam board underneath the fin
tube and drape plastic down to the floor. I want to build one of these for
starting seeds. Currently I start stuff in the basement under lights, then
hang a plastic tent from the hoophouse perlins right in front of the furnace
that makes a little mini-greenhouse instead of heating the whole hoophouse.
Aim for turning the furnace on April 15. If I had the fin tubes under a
bench I could get stuff out of the house a lot sooner 12 double sets of 4
foot flouresccent tubes inside.

Beth Spaugh
Rehoboth Homestead
Peru NY

-----Original Message-----
From: Rachel Airmet [mailto:rachel at sunshinefarmmarket.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, February 20, 2007 1:36 PM
To: market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [Market-farming] Siting a hoophouse


I'm a small vegetable grower from North Central Washington.  We are trying
to decide between two less-than-ideal places to site our 10x30 hoophouse
(for starting seeds).    We are on an irregular north facing slope and the
sunniest spots on the land are not options because of lack of power and lack
of water early in the season.  (We don't turn the irrigation pump on until
the end of March.)

Of the two sites we are considering, one is way closer to the house (so easy
access to power to plug in heating mats and run an electric heater at night,
but it gets probably about 30 minutes less direct sun on either end of the
day.  The other site is 150-200 feet from the house, so a little more of a
challenge to get power to it (an outdoor extension cord would be enough to
power heat mats, but I'd probably end up running a propane heater to keep
the temp up on cold nights--which has no thermostat, which is a bummer), but
it has water and that extra 30 minutes of sun on each end of the day.  Also
a little harder to access, just because it's up a short steep muddy hill,
though I can get my truck up to it on most days.

So my real question is how much am I losing by putting the hoop house in the
less sunny spot.  I could mitigate somewhat with fluorescent lights (kind of
a pain, and I don't have enough for all my plants).

Thanks for any thoughts you might have.


On 2/20/07 9:00 AM, "market-farming-request at lists.ibiblio.org"
<market-farming-request at lists.ibiblio.org> wrote:

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> Today's Topics:
>    1. seed potato sources (carol wilson)
>    2. Re: seed potato sources (Sharon and Steve)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2007 19:14:22 -0800 (PST)
> From: carol wilson <carolaw5 at yahoo.com>
> Subject: [Market-farming] seed potato sources
> To: market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
> Message-ID: <106256.97905.qm at web53612.mail.yahoo.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> Well, I suppose that clears it up for me.  It seems b/c I'm needing 
> organic that's the problem.  I'm pretty sure that organic potatoes from
the store
> don't have a sprout inhibitor applied.   I think this year I may follow
> Steve's suggestion of a small planting to start and try a later planting.
> I've never done this or even heard of it until the post a couple of days
> I'll do a little reseach and see if it'll work for this area.    Thanks
> the feedback!
> Carol-Northeast OK
> "Though men now possess the power to dominate and exploit every corner 
> of the natural world, nothing in that fact implies that they have
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> Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 11:40:02 -0500
> From: "Sharon and Steve" <shopkins at tdstelme.net>
> Subject: Re: [Market-farming] seed potato sources
> To: "Market Farming" <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
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> Carol:
>   Dont know much about growing in OK but here in Maine we start in 
> early May and work around the numerous rains till we are done. When 
> doing 400 acres of potatoes sometimes it was late June before we were 
> done and the 6 -7 week difference made almost no visible difference in the
crop that was harvested.
>   Good luck with whatever you try.
>   MAsteveINE
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