The Winter Hoop House

As promised, we pulled out the tomato plants last week.   Despite their continued production, the quality of the remaining tomatoes was poor, the plants were visibly dying, and the space was needed for the winter crops!  The plants themselves were not wasted, however, but were presented by the wheelbarrow-full to the eagerly awaiting piggies.  Every last stem, leaf, and green tomato was enthusiastically consumed!

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ImageImageOnce the plants were gone, we cleaned the beds of weeds and added a bit more organic soil to fill up what had been taken away by the previous occupants.  The next job was to build the mini hoop houses within the larger hoop house.  Our theory is that the double layer of polyethylene plastic will provide enough warmth and protection from the elements to enable us to grow hardy greens over the really cold winter months.  In the absence of an electricity source or a real greenhouse, this is currently the best shot we’ve got at growing winter crops.

The mini hoop house in the garden is working really well, so we simply copied that design and started to build three minis on the side of the house that had only tomatoes.  Since our pepper plants are still producing fruit, we’ve decided to wait until they are done before doing the same thing on the opposite side.

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Since no wind will be able to get into the hoop house, it wasn’t as important to seal down the sides as it was outside.  We fully completed two of the minis and have the seedlings sprouting in one of them already!

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We have two kinds of kale, spinach, lettuce, and mustard greens planted and sprouting.  It is our hope that we will be able to produce all of these greens throughout the winter, although we realize that this is totally an experiment and any success will be a very happy surprise!  We’ll keep you posted…

In pigs news, we are only two weeks away from the BIG DAY.  We are excited, but also incredibly sad.  We will miss having these guys around each day as they have become a large part of our new life here on the farm.  There is a lot to be said for having fixed male pigs around.  They are the most gentle, loving creatures you could meet.  Bacon (our only female) on the other hand, is a total jerk.  We love her, but she is a bossy woman who thinks the world revolves around her.  As a result, she may have earned the dubious honor of being the first pig finished.

We have collected all of the supplies we need for the finishing.  Next week, we’ll show you all the tools involved in the process and describe our plan.  If you are anywhere near East Chatham, or would like to come up for the day to participate/watch/be involved, please let us know.  The more the merrier!

Today’s pigs weights are up dramatically from last weeks with Hammy at 219.59 lbs., Bacon at 188.22 lbs., and Pork Chop at an even 200 lbs.

Until we meet again, may you lay in the mud with sunshine on your back all day.Image

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About applewoodfarm

Restaurateur, farmer, bartender, beekeeper, friend, wife, mother, dog lover, cat tolerater, chicken hypnotizer, blogger, and sometime yogi
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