We are past the winter solstice. As the days grow longer the growth of the young arugula, spinach and lettuce in High & Dry Farm’s hoop houses speeds up. Spring is still far off, but we can dream.
The cucumber and pepper crop in hoophouse #1 was ripped out, and replaced with transplanted spinach, arugula, and romaine lettuce and direct-seeded lettuce for salad mix a couple weeks ago. They are doing well, despite nighttime temperatures of 28 degrees.
After it’s summer crop of tomatoes and peppers, the new hoophouse has been seeded for its winter crop of carrots, spinach, and hakurei turnips. This winter crop is always risky business because germination takes weeks and nothing really grows significantly until day length increases to 10 hours, which happens in the middle of February.
The hoophouses are now in full production. Tyria English cucumbers and Corinto slicing cucumbers are producing fruit at the rate of about 30 lbs per week of each variety.
Here are two varieties of arugula – Esmee on the left and Astro on the right.
The new hoop house is complete, and it survived the weight of 2′ of wet snow without damage. Although the weather continues to be exceptionally cold (Feb. temperatures have averaged 10 degrees below normal below normal) we have begun transplanting lettuce and hakurei turnip plants. These should be ready for harvest in late April, to be replaced by pepper, eggplant, and tomato plants.
I just installed the poly film on the new hoophouse. All that remains is to install the rollup device on the sides, and to frame out the door.
High & Dry Farm is constructing a new high tunnel greenhouse, in preparation for the new growing season. We have almost completed installation of the supporting hoops. No prefab kits here. The hoops are fabricated from chain link fence top rail, which is bent into the correct curve on-site.
The hoophouse is now producing prodigious amounts of tomatoes and cucumbers, much appreciated by our customers at the Snohomish Farmer’s Market.
Today I harvested the first cucumbers, and the first tomatoes from the hoophouse. Tomatoes included , Alicante, Flamme, Aunt Lucy Italian Paste, Coyote, Earl of Edgecombe, Baselbieter Rotelli, Beams Yellow Pear, Sebastopol, Indische fleiche, Slava, Bloody Butcher, Kimberly, Tigerella, Buckbees New 50 day, Amy’s Apricot, Amy’s Sugar Gem, Washington Cherry, Aurora and Debarao.