Archive : Sustainable Low Tunnel Green House

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News: Local veggies – all year

News: Local veggies – all year

By Kelly Pedro London Free Press January 24, 2011 Food: An Amish farm is using a different kind of greenhouse to grow year-round MALAHIDE TOWNSHIP — Imagine eating a fresh salad made up of locally grown, organic lettuce, carrots and spinach. In January. Didn’t think it was possible? Think again. In an innovative but simple back-to-basics move, a small Amish farm near Aylmer is growing all that delicious produce [Read More...]
Fall crop: Ball lettuce

Fall crop: Ball lettuce

Ball lettuce These lettuces were planted in late September.  They have survived the freezing weather and providing us with crisp fresh organic lettuce. The Ceylon onions were planted at the same day and they have been thriving as well.  We only watered once so far this winter since the last watering still keeping the beds wet. This picture was taken on first week of December.
Winter beets

Winter beets

These beets were planted late September as a fall/winter crop experiment.  As of first week of December, they are still healthy. The plant growth is stunt with the latest freezing temperatures and we are hoping that they will have a early start in March.  Our goal is to have the earliest fresh organic beet available for families coming spring.
Frozen South Asian veggies inside hoop house

Frozen South Asian veggies inside hoop house

Our visit on December 6 was a pleasant one.  We had - 8 C degree temperatures with over night temperatures going even below that. Our cold crops were in excellent condition but the warm lovers were toast.  We were surprised to find eggplants and chillies frozen and in excellent condition. We harvested them all and then cleared the plants and tossed them in the compost pile. The ground was really wet and we didn’t [Read More...]
Hoop house on December 6

Hoop house on December 6

Our hoop house is experiencing it’s first winter at the McVean farm.  We have scaled our shifts to once every two weeks. We were excited to see our structure stand straight with healthy vibrant cold crops inside. We have totally insulated this hoop house by burying the side plastic.  Please note that we don’t have running water or electricity which makes this operation a challenge.

Hoophouse snapshots as of November 7

Cold lovers are doing great inside the hoophouse. Kale from Peel Organics and Broccolli from Farmer Katie are thriving inside. Our own lettuce is doing great as well as spinach and Ceylon onions. Farmer Joyce & Stanley’s Yellow Bitter melon is dead after the frost bites. This bittermelon was planted late in July but produced lots of melons for their market.
Start of cold crops inside the sustainable hoophouse

Start of cold crops inside the sustainable hoophouse

Our September 25 planted cold crops are doing great inside the green house. There is a huge demand for spinach and lettuce  from the market gardeners and farmers from our community farm.  Our community plot farmers have been buying most of the produce. We will be planting again tomorrow on the beds where we had the warm lovers this summer.
End of warm lovers inside the sustainable hoop house

End of warm lovers inside the sustainable hoop house

We harvested the last of the peppers, eggplants and bitter melons this week from the green house. Our hoop house doesn’t have any electricity or running water.  Most of the watering was done by collecting rain water. Last weekend’s cold snap killed these plants for good.  We were able to extend their life span by atleast a month. We also have only one layer of 6 mm plastic and our doors are not insulated properly.

No name chillies in October

When we bought this variety at a Seedy Saturday, we were told that these are hot Cayenne peppers. But it turned out to be a mild mammoth chilli. We are not complaining.  It is producing vigorously inside the green house and our families love it. Really good for mild chutneys.

More Paavai Bittermelon seeds

The green house is still producing Bittermelons in September.   We are leaving all of them to go to seed. Next year, half of the green house will be planted with Pavai bittermelon.
Green house mentoring

Green house mentoring

We have three farmers using our green house to experiment with hoop house growing.  All of them are definitely convinced adding a low tunnel hoop house to a market garden enterprise has many benefits. Here you see, Farmers Joyce & Stanly growing beautiful Carribbean bittermelon on their area.  Next year, we will have more new farmers testing out green house growing and figure out if it is something they want to use. This [Read More...]
Fall Italian Viking Spinach & Premium Salad Mix

Fall Italian Viking Spinach & Premium Salad Mix

We got the salad mix seeds from Terra Edibles.  We had great success with their seed before. These were planted on Sept 25. after the full moon.  We are experimenting with the moon pattern planting since many farmers tend to encourage it. Spinach is definitely a high return crop.  We have sold over $100 worth of spinach just from a 3 ft x 15 ft bed.
Fall Ceylon Onion sprouting

Fall Ceylon Onion sprouting

We planted these Ceylon Onions(shallots) on Sept. 25 after the full moon.  Some are planted couple of weeks earlier. They are already shooting out.  These seeds are from our May planted Ceylon onions. We have harvested around 130 lbs of onions from 30 lbs seeds and impressed with the growth in our Brampton clay soil.  Due to popular demand most of these onions went to our 9 team members’ family use.
Fall Ontario Romaine Lettuce

Fall Ontario Romaine Lettuce

Fall Romaine lettuce planted on Sept. 25 after the full moon are doing well. These Romaine lettuce seeds are saved by one of our team member’s father.  These seeds have been producing excelling lettuce heads. There is already demand for the fall season extended crops from Market gardeners who are running out of produce to sell.
Sustainable hoophouse mentoring

Sustainable hoophouse mentoring

We have donated almost 1/3 of the green house space to other farmers in our incubator farm. This year three farmers are experimenting with their crops inside the green house. Here you see Peel Organics farmers trying out North Indian crops. Because of our experiment, next year atleast 5 more farmers are planning on adding hoophouses to their operation.
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