Monday, May 25, 2009

Hoop House Part II

Wa la! One completed 20 x 60 foot hoop house! It's meant to be temporary and easily moved, so that's why it looks like a big plastic bag over PVC pipe. Since there are no holes in the plastic sheeting, it should last for a long, long time! (That is, if it doesn't blow into the neighbor's pasture!)
This picture was taken before we planted 25+ tomato plants inside. As soon as they recover from the shock of being transplanted, I'll post a picture. They're doing well and are happy to be in out of the wind and cold.
If you look to the right of the hoop house, you will see a 10 x 60 foot PVC frame set up. Future home of eggplant and peppers.
As a side note ... we have most of our main garden planted! Hurray for nice weather! Take care and make it a great day ...
P.S. You're going to love the "before" and "after" pictures of our garden! Thanks to Doug, Sara and Tammy for making it happen!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Countrified Market and Open House - August 1, 2009

Yeehaw! Gotta do a little side step here away from the hoop house building to let you know about our Countrified Market and Open House. (Rain and wind are keeping us off track!)

We're excited! The event is scheduled for August 1, 2009. Which is the same weekend as the Stanwood Camano Fair. So, what do we have to do with the Fair? Nothing, really. Our farm is not affiliated with the fair, but as farmers, and country people at heart, we want to encourage you to attend the fair. So, you are welcome to park your car at our place and ride a horse drawn wagon to the fair (for a roundtrip fee to the teamster for the care and feeding of his horses.) Parking at our place is free.

The fair food is fun, but it's the crafts, the produce, ag information and above all the sense of community that drew us to the fair. When we were city people dreaming of the country life, the fair provided us an opportunity to be surrounded for one day by all things agricultural. We loved it and the fair kept our dream of country life alive. And we made it!

So, we want to open our farm for one day, to those citified, urban fair-goers who want a ride in a horse-drawn wagon, a bite of a freshly harvested carrot, green bean or some other seasonal veggie, and/or an opportunity to buy a countrified craft. Or just to be able to fly a kite as high in the sky as it will go!

This should be a great extended family event! Aunts, uncles, grandpas, grandmas, children, teens, tweens, moms, dads, everyone. So, mark your calendar for that weekend!

And in the middle of the planning we are planting vegetables, building hoop houses and just generally having a great time! Who cares if the weather still feels like November ... the cool season crops love it! Make it a great day! More to come ...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Hoop House Construction - Part I

This is sooooo exciting and great fun to see the progress of this project. Since Mother Nature has gotten the best of us for the past couple of years, i.e. no or limited tomatoes, little or no peppers and no eggplant! This year we decided to try a couple of temporary hoop houses. We call these hoop houses because we won't be regulating the temperature other than to lift the sides if it should get too hot inside of them.

This picture is of our small garden. We are going to put the two temporary hoop houses here. This garden dries out first, so we are able to prepare the soil earlier. We tilled up last year's "residual" (technical term for weeds and dead veggies), then spread and tilled in 4 yds of Cedar Grove Compost.

Then we laid down 4 ft wide weed cloth from Gempler's. This will serve us well for the season, i.e. we won't need to weed around the base of the plastic pipe. Oh, I might mention, that the white thing on a pole stuck in the raised bed on the right ... it's one of our organic pest control methods. It's a net for capturing cabbage moths. Although we did get a lot of exercise, we're going to supplement netting with remay.

This is the spot for our 10 foot wide hoop house. It will be used for a variety of tomatoes. The tomatoes will be planted directly into the ground and there will be two 60 foot rows.

Three foot rebar posts are then pounded two feet into the ground. One foot of rebar is above ground.

A 20 foot plastic PVC pipe is then bent from one rebar post to another rebar 10 feet across from the first. These two end pvc pipes are 60 feet apart.

And, here we go! 16 - 20 foot PVC pipes forming the skeleton of our first hoop house. We still need to put the ropes across the top, the tie downs in and the plastic over the top. We'll also be laying weed cloth down inside the hoop house.

Nice job, Doug and Sara. Now if the wind will die down enough to put up the plastic, we'll be in great shape. More to come ... and you have a great day!