Our introduction to plasticulture! Before installing our high tunnels (hoop houses) – we farmed with plastic mulch. This machine raised the dirt and laid black plastic to create raised beds. This helped to reduce weed pressure, heat the soil to give us a head start to plant in the spring and provide drip irrigation.
Without plastic mulch, Phocas Farms most likely would not have survived. As you can see, this horse pasture is now ready to grow vegetables!
Steve building our first high tunnel – also called a hoop house.
Raised beds in our second hoop house.
Our second hoop house is much taller than the first which allows us to grow a wide variety of items, where the smaller house limits us to greens, root vegetables and other lower growing vegetables. I had no idea that we were on our way to having nine houses AND the beginning of Steve and Andrew starting their own company – Phocas Farms Greenhouses!
The sides of a hoop house adjust and help to keep the heat in on cold days and reduce wind pressure! We are able to extend our growing season because they protect young plants in the spring from late frosts and again in the fall from early frosts.
Preparing another site for yet another hoop house.
Steve working on the irrigation.