Friday, January 8, 2016

Remote high tunnel watering

Controlled production environments as we well know, offer a wealth of benefits, particularly in temperate zones. Essentially all environmental conditions are manipulatable (light, irrigation, atmospheric conditions, etc.) to best facilitate growth and development of plant material, and many of these parameters can be automated under growers discretion. Unfortunately, many of these amenities aren’t available to me, both from a financial standing, but even more so by lack of driving forces. One being electricity, and the second being  running water, which despite a high tunnels many advantages, can be difficult to achieve if it resides in a remote area. as per my situation.

Fortunately, I technically have the ability to procure electricity for the high tunnel, however it would require >200 ft. of extension/power cable, but isn’t necessary. Water, which is imperative, would require > 300 ft. of hose/pipe and burial below the frost line for functionality in the winter. Neither implementations are needed at this point, not for a basic small tunnel with rather minimal demand in winter.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Winter high tunnel

In the hopes of continuing production past the fall shoulder season, I decided to fabricate a small, single layer poly (6 mil) unheated high tunnel. The intention is not only produce quality food, but to observe and note plant growth and development of low temperature tolerant varieties through the less than favorable environmental conditions. This includes, but not limited to:

  1. Large daily temperature fluctuations
      upwards of 60°F on a clear day
  2. Overall less than desirable temperatures
      cloudy, windy, and/or low outside temperatures leads to low ambient temperature in high tunnel
  3. Shorter day lengths
      lower photosynthetic activity, coupled with above low temperatures (ie. reduced metabolic activity) means further reduced growth potential
  4. Pest presence and pressures

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