Easy Low Tunnel Hoops for Fall and Spring Gardens

How we made low tunnel hoops to extend our growing season.

[captionpix imgsrc=”http://blog.cleanslatefarm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/overview-e1376773352485.jpg” captiontext=”Completed low tunnel hoops ready for covering.” imgtitle=”completed low tunnel hoops frame”]

[captionpix imgsrc=”http://blog.cleanslatefarm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/end-cap-e1376773533146.jpg” captiontext=”A detail of the PVC T connecting the perlin (top brace) to the hoops.” imgtitle=”PVC T fitting to connect the purlin/top brace to the low tunnel hoops”]

[captionpix imgsrc=”http://blog.cleanslatefarm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/mid-section-e1376773485320.jpg” captiontext=”The purlin connected to the low tunnel hoops using a zip tie.” imgtitle=”perlin/top brace connection on low tunnel hoops”]

Last year we had a cold frame to grow some early season leafy greens for the table. Success? Well…kind of. This year the cold frame will be for hardening off the seedlings we start in soil blocks.

We also built a PVC test low tunnel hoops that showed a lot of promise, until Calvin the cat ripped it open chasing water droplets. However it did stand up to the high winds we have during the fall, winter, and spring.

:: Follow Gromit for more

The Garlic Harvest is Over!

Don’t forget to save some for next year’s crop

[captionpix imgsrc=”http://blog.cleanslatefarm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/garlic-scapes-2-e1376226793277.jpg” captiontext=”A garlic scape curled in a semi-circle ready to be cut.” imgtitle=”garlic scape”]

[captionpix imgsrc=”http://blog.cleanslatefarm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/garlic.jpg” captiontext=”Garlic curing in the barn.” imgtitle=”garlic curing”]


The garlic is in! Last fall we planted about 100 cloves of garlic with cloves saved from the 2012 harvest using the best and biggest of the bulbs. Paydirt!

Garlic is one of the easiest plants to grow. In the fall, we plant no later than Columbus day, prepare a bed by turning in plenty of compost into the soil and raking it level. Planting from there is simple: jab a finger sized hole in the ground, push a clove of garlic in so the pointy end is up and covered by about 1.5 inches of dirt, and wait for garlic in the summer. We use a six inch by six inch grid pattern to maximize the space though this may be tight for some. There are a mess of different garlic varieties¬†you can plant from mild to “hot” in taste.

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GMOs and Why We Should Care.

This article helped me form my opinion of GMOs

Of all the magazines I read I like Acres USA¬†the most. It is an eco-agriculture publication that, at least to me, presents a balanced outlook on GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and sustainable agriculture. While I read Mother Earth and a host of web sites/blogs, they often leave me with a taste of sensationalism or “out of the mainstream” editorial.

Yes, I get a lot of information from these sources but as a former advertising and PR executive I know how easy it is to manipulate opinion. Given enough time and money a good PR firm can eventually make anyone believe the sky is green and the grass is blue. It sounds like hyperbole on my part but I see it everyday and have lived it. :: Follow Gromit for more

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