Season Extension and Crop Multiplication with a Moveable Hoophouse in an Organic System
Western Colorado, like much of the Intermountain West, has a short growing season. At Thistle Whistle Farm near Hotchkiss, elevation 5,400 feet, the season is 140 days. The farm’s goal is to make a living producing food for the local population, but the short, variable seasons increase the risk.
By testing a moveable hoophouse that slides on rails, this project has the potential to extend the growing season to as many as 250 days, nearly double the current average of 140 days. Markets for the fruit and vegetables at new seasonal points will allow for greater production and profit. Current markets for organic produce from small growers in the North Fork Valley include farmers markets, restaurants, CSAs, off-farm sales, local whole-food grocers and wholesale distribution to upscale mountain communities.
Want more information? See the related SARE grant(s) FW07-319, Season Extension and Crop Area Multiplication with a Moveable Hoophouse in an Organic System .
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This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.