County AG Report: Greenhouses
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Did you know that a simple greenhouse can help to accelerate the start of the growing season? As Rob Koenig found out, a few sheets of plastic goes a long way towards insulating and heating a greenhouse.
“we had a real bad year one year, and we decided to take that time and research and do everything we could to figure out how we were going to make this a viable place.”
Here at Treystar farms in Presque Isle, it’s this building behind me, their greenhouse, that has allowed them to start their planting season a bit early.
“what we did is we started with outside beds and started doing that. When we learned some tricks, then we went to NRCS, and we got the grant for the greenhouse. But we wanted to do something different than what everybody else was doing….We figured well why don’t we just create our own markets early and late, especially because nobody is really doing those.”
And that’s exactly what Putnam did. Having the greenhouse has opened up opportunities to get seeds in the ground sooner, and extended the growing season well past the end of the outdoor one.
“our focus was to grow in the ground, because that’s where all of your nutrients are from mother nature…. When we started trying to get everything lined up, as far as we decided to run electricity down here the next year, after it was up, because we put it up in the fall, and a water line at the same time, and that all comes from the barn facilities.”
And while it isn’t easy to get one of these built, especially one of this size. Putnam says that he had plenty of help from his friends and neighbors.
“me and another guy, reed Hankins, we took the time and we put all the trusses and gussets and everything together and tightened them up. My father-in-law Mike Merchison, and myself, sunk the pipes into the ground and got everything squared and ready to go. Then I had another big group of people come over, and we stood everything up. We put the end walls in, put the plastic on… it took about two and a half days, it went pretty quick, but we had a lot of hands.”
For more information on building one of these greenhouse’s yourself, as well as information on the grant that Putnam used to build his own, head on over to our website.
In next week’s County Ag Report, rob looks at the planting Treystar farms has already started in their greenhouse.
Putnam said that he was able to get his grant for his greenhouse through the NRCS. While this can take some time, and be a lengthy process, it’s well worth the time and effort to get the monetary support for a project like this. More information on the program through the NRCS can be found here. More information on the High Tunnel System Initiative can be found here. More information on Applying for the the EQIP grant can be found here.
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