[Market-farming] Hi Tunnel innovations
lists at rhomestead.com
Mon Jan 18 11:45:15 EST 2016
I have grown/harvested year-round for 11 years. I am looking to cut
back and take some mental time off in the winter. Marketing is by far
my least favorite farm activity, and I want a break. Also, it will ease
the timing stress of still harvesting one thing but wanting to plant
summer crops. And will give the soil a little break.
But I am a one-woman show. If your son needs year-round income, and you
are providing for two families, year-round will certainly help. There
were years when I covered my expenses during the growing season and made
my "income" from fall/winter sales.
I'd like to see how MSU used twine for the row cover. We took 10-foot
conduit, bent it into very wide/flat
U shape (Iike 18" legs) and used it for row cover. One our 26-foot wide
it takes two that have one end bent and one with both ends bent,
zip-tied together so cover the whole thing, with just enough edge room
to squeeze by.
Here is a link to a photo:
On 1/18/2016 8:21 AM, Shoemaker, William H wrote:
> Thought I'd share this to stimulate the list a bit. Seems like its
> been pretty dormant this winter.
> I first learned about tunnels for growing crops about 20 years ago,
> through the academic community I was part of, especially New
> Hampshire. I built my first one in 1998 and it changed my perspective
> on market farming enormously. Since then, tunnels have become
> well-established on market farms all over the world. I suspect almost
> all subscribers to this list who actually run or work on a market farm
> have at least one tunnel for growing crops. One of the great things
> that seemed to happen after growers began to use them was innovation.
> Growers had great ideas for how to adjust management of tunnels, or
> even make changes to the tunnel itself to better position themselves
> for success in the market. Keeping in mind that everyone has a unique
> market, I'm curious if anyone would like to share an innovation they
> adopted, or created, that gave them an advantage in their market.
> While I'm not growing commercially, yet, I expect to. I'm selling my
> house and will look for a property where we can set ourselves up for
> sustainable living and a market farming operation. I'll be 64 in a few
> months but I'm in very good physical condition and will be looking to
> benefit from the work involved. However, at least one of my sons wants
> to be involved as well, so I'll be able to pace myself. But I want to
> be able to have product in the marketplace 12 months/year. I think
> that will have a great benefit to the business. So I intend to use row
> covers inside the tunnels to keep the crops thriving during the colder
> times of the year. I really like the design John Berbaum at Michigan
> State was advocating a few years ago, where he had the cover suspended
> above the crops and drawn from one side of the tunnel across a pipe
> framework that held it up. He could use twine to pull the whole piece
> of row cover uniformly across the crop, or back into the side. This
> reduced effort and time to use the cover, and improved the crop at the
> same time.
> That's my contribution. Anyone have other ideas that improved their
> tunnel operation?
> *William H. Shoemaker *
> /Retired fruit and vegetable horticulturist/
> /University of Illinois/
> wshoemak at illinois.edu <mailto:wshoemak at illinois.edu>
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Rehoboth Homestead, Peru NY
"How we eat determines, to a considerable extent, how the world is used." -
"Without power over our food, any notion of democracy is empty." - Frances
It's not that nice guys finish last. They have a whole different notion
where the finish line is. - unknown
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