Tag: Greenhouse

Creating Season Extension with Climate Batteries

By Sonja Heyck-Merlin A quick glance at most seed catalogs reveals a plethora of season-extending tools, from sprouting trays to cold frames. From there, season extension gets progressively more complicated: bendable hoops for do-it-yourself caterpillar-style tunnels, small backyard greenhouses with polycarbonate walls and large high tunnels most commonly found on commercial vegetable farms. The use

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Case Studies in Covered Agriculture in Maine

By Bill Giordano Implementing greenhouses and other covered structures for extending the growing season has been a popular trend in farming’s recent memory. This millennium’s plastic-covered agriculture precedent now spans hundreds of thousands of acres nationally and includes an increase in covered acreage across farms in Maine, when comparing the USDA’s 2017 census data to

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Is Organic Farming Contributing to a Plastic Apocalypse?

By David McDaniel I am an organic farmer recovering from a heavy reliance on and addiction to the agricultural plastic needed to make my commercial farm competitive, productive and profitable. I got into organic farming for the noble purpose of working in a vocation that would theoretically pay a livable wage while allowing me to

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Recycle Your Greenhouse Plastic

By David McDaniel Rick Kersbergen, Paul Gallione and Sam MacDonald remove plastic from a greenhouse at Moosehead Trail Farm in Waldo. Thanks to a new program, they’ll be able to recycle the plastic. Photo by David McDaniel. Beginning in the spring of 2020, farmers and gardeners will be able to recycle their waste greenhouse and

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Recycling Agricultural Plastic I

The author’s third high tunnel with a fourth shown under construction. Photo by David McDaniel By David McDaniel Maine commercial farmers are addicted to plastic. Whether we farm organically or conventionally, the economics of modern farming drive our dependence on petroleum-based plastic products. We use acres of black plastic mulch to warm our cold northern soil and

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Agricultural Plastic Part II Recycling

Many agricultural plastics, including some row covers, are difficult or impossible to recycle. English photo By David McDaniel In the summer 2019 MOF&G, I discussed how Maine farmers depend on many plastic products and the difficulties of recycling these materials. Here I review some of the limited ways to recycle agricultural plastic and types of plastic to

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An Inexpensive Low Tunnel Season Extender

Photo 1 – Each frame was fitted over a 2-foot-long, half-inch re-rod driven into the ground. Re-rods were covered with half-inch plastic pipe for added rigidity. Longer re-rods would be an improvement, and 3-foot 4-inch sections of half-inch conduit might be even better. Photo 2 – Frames were assembled on the ground, left and right

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Farming the Shoulder Seasons

At the Farmer to Farmer Conference, Eliot Coleman (left) and Patrice Gros talked about growing crops during the shoulder seasons of the main growing season. English photo At MOFGA’s 2016 Farmer to Farmer Conference, Eliot Coleman of Four Season Farm in Harborside, Maine, and Patrice Gros of Foundation Farm near Fayetteville, Arkansas, discussed growing and

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Seedling Production

A concrete center aisle in a greenhouse is easy to clean but less expensive than an entire floor made of concrete. Photo by Stephanie Burnett Unit heaters are less expensive than boilers but can require more maintenance. Photo by Stephanie Burnett The 2018 Spring Growth Conference at MOFGA addressed seedling production – setting up production

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Energy efficient Structures for Agriculture

This energy efficient Quonset-style building in Waldoboro currently houses black soldier fly larvae, which break down organic byproducts. Bins holding organic materials and maggots are on the left; bins on the right hold waste from food processors. Chris Heinig of Acadia Harvest says, “My goal is to see this operation take in waste and have

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