Clayfield Farm recently completed its first full summer with a new 22’ x 48’ Rolling Thunder™ Greenhouse from Rimol Greenhouse Systems. Owner Phil Norris purchased the structure to extend his production season from 6 to 10 months. Seed germination can now begin in February with the last harvest occurring in late November. Currently the farm harvests nearly 60 retail items, and due to the extended growing season, is expected to earn its largest profit this year.
The greenhouse is the first with polyethylene covering to be installed on the farm’s 15-acre property. Construction for it was completed at the end of last fall after work had begun earlier that summer. Norris constructed the Rolling Thunder™, which also included laying the two galvanized steel pipes for rolling.
“My site is slightly curved so I laid out the pipes with a gentle curve and then built the house on top of them,” said Norris. “The house rolls more easily than any other movable greenhouse I have ever seen. Two people can push it by leaning on the corners. No tractors, no winches."
Norris initially toyed with the idea of installing a 22’ x 60’ high tunnel structure, but ultimately settled on the 22’ x 48’ with a 200’ track after consulting with Rimol Greenhouses New England Sales Manager, John Wells. The Rolling Thunder™ is complete with roll up end walls for increased ventilation, a customized sidewall entrance, 32” of ground clearance and a built-in irrigation system that sits overhead. Norris credits Wells’ vast experience in indoor growing environments for finalizing all fixtures and dimensions.
“John Wells was very easy to work with,” he said. “What I was doing was very new and different, so he was very good in giving me what I needed and it’s certainly paid off so far. I wouldn’t hesitate going back to Rimol Greenhouses.”
Things change quickly in this industry but the one constant that remains is giving those that utilize our greenhouses the necessary resources to extend the growing season,” said Wells. “I’m glad we could help Phil out and give Clayfield Farm its first polyethylene greenhouse structure because it gives his retail options flexibility.”
In addition to extending the growing season for Clayfield Farms there are other operational benefits to a Rolling Thunder™ Greenhouse. “I wanted this high tunnel to roll easily so that it could be moved several times each season,” Norris said. “I wanted plenty of clearance so that the high tunnel could roll over established crops.”