High Tunnel Growing
Experimenting with HT Climate and Vertical Growing Techniques
The Lodestar Grassroots Mini Co-Op (comprised of five families) are experimenting with a variety of earth-friendly soil supplements (including indigenous micro organism—IMO’s), non-GMO seeds, climate control techniques (including air circulation and extending the season approaches using cold frames and row covers), and growing techniques such as vertical gardening. We strive to achieve year-round maximum yields in a 35 x 72 x 17 ft passive solar- heated tunnel. Our group relies heavily on the information in Eliot Coleman’s Four Season Harvest and The New Organic Grower, as well as John Jeavons Grow More Vegetables. We selected a high tunnel design that would accommodate gutters for rainwater catchment, and chose Solex as the material for the high tunnel shell for its durability, insulation and light-diffusing qualities. The beds are covered by 19-weight Agrobond row cover that lays on wickets one foot above the plants for frost protection.