A high tunnel is a unheated greenhouse that will allow us to get an early start on heirloom tomatoes and extend our season into the winter. We went with a 30′ X 96′ gable style structure. The process has been slow in putting it up because this is the first time I have built one. Our construction began after a bit of head scratching and double checking measurements to make sure the ground posts (basically the foundation) were square. We had to borrow scaffolding from a friend to be able to raise the hoops and decided to place it on a hay wagon so it could be moved easily. This system worked until we had a beautiful day and our portable scaffolding got stuck in the mud! We are about half way done and look forward to growing in it this season.
Hurricane Sandy hit us hard. Some of our vegetables have been damaged, however all of our buildings remain fine. We lost power for four days which made us cancel our Sunday market. A lot of trees have fallen on the property and we have begun clearing them. Some fallen oaks will be used for mushroom logs, cedar for building materials, and the rest turned into wood chips. Our thoughts and heart go out to all who have been affected by Sandy. Mother nature has given us another wake up call to build a resilient future.
Building out infrastructure for a new farm operation is quite involved. Locations of roads, greenhouses, compost areas, and equipment storage all need to work together to produce a efficient flow of work through the farm. We selected our site of the seedling greenhouse to run east to west to capture the most amount of sun. It is also located right next to the vegetable field for accessibility. The site was leveled and stone was put down to provide a good foundation for the operation of the greenhouse.