July 8, 2015
Get Moving! 5 Profitable Reasons to Consider a Movable High Tunnel
It may sound like you need a greenhouse for every season, but that’s certainly not the case. Having mobility means you can open up your high tunnel and let it breathe in the summer, and hunker down with confidence in the winter for those in colder climates.
Here are five other notable benefits of a movable high tunnel:
1. Maximize the square footage of your growing space
You can double or triple the square footage of your growing space. This will depend on how many times the high tunnel is moved per year, but with a well-executed plan, this can also mean double or triple your crops.
2. Avoid planting or seeding crops in unfavorable conditions
Plan your plots carefully and reap the benefits. Essentially, you will have access to both a summer and fall high tunnel. That means that you can avoid planting or seeding plants out of season.
3. Avoid soil and pest issues by exposing the soil to the elements
Did you know that your soil is a living, breathing thing? That’s why exposure to the elements such as rain, wind, snow, direct sunlight and even freezing temperatures can greatly benefit the health of your soil. Salt buildup can also be toxic to your crops and this natural cleansing cycle helps correct both problems.
4. Energy saving potential
Eliot Coleman, the award-winning organic farmer and author, helped design our Movable Greenhouse. He incorporates movable high tunnels into his operation as a way to save money and energy that would be needed for cooling and heating as seasons change.
For example, he places a movable high tunnel over tomatoes – an early planting, warm season crop. Once done in the fall, the high tunnel can be moved over crops that were put down in late summer. Those crops will then be protected until late fall or early winter. After harvesting these crops, beds can be replanted with late-winter and early spring cool-season crops. Without mobility, this operation would require a cooling and heating system.
5. Enhance customer relationship marketing
Chances are that you won’t run into many other growers or customers that use a movable high tunnel system. This provides an interesting, educational topic to engage in conversation at farmers markets, CSA pick-ups, farm tours, and other farm-related events. If located within a reasonable vicinity to the market, you can even invite them over to check it out. Sounds like a future repeat customer to us!
We certainly didn’t create the first movable greenhouse -- that happened in England at the end of the nineteenth century -- but we have spent years perfecting our Rolling Thunder Series. We’ve designed this series with flexibility in mind and can customize the height and width specific to your needs. This is the perfect way to produce a variety of crops from season to season by leveraging the strengths of both crop rotation and crop protection.