A few weeks ago, our farm welcomed a group of interested islanders in WSU's workshop titled “Winter Fresh! Growing Your Own Produce in the Off Season.” We demonstrated some of the techniques we use for growing winter vegetables, including the low tunnels we build to protect some of the winter greens.
One of the participants, Debbie Hatch, wrote up a great article summarizing some of the things the group learned from the different farms they visited. The article includes a picture of me and Susan setting up a tunnel in our North garden!
Here in the Pacific Northwest, things like hoophouses, greenhouses, and tunnels can provide plants with extra protection from cold, snow, and wind. They lengthen the growing season and help folks grow fresh produce during times of the year when it might otherwise seem impossible.
Not many market farmers in this area grow in the wintertime; for one thing, it requires a lot of work year-round rather than the seasonal bursts of energy and long winter hibernations that many cherish. But here on Synergy, we barrel straight through the year which means that now, in August, we're extra busy, reaping the bounty of our spring plantings, and preparing for all the plants that will keep on through the winter.
Here's what the low tunnels looked like way back in early April: