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The Year-Round Hoophouse (PDF)
Polytunnels for All Seasons and All Climates
Growing in hoophouses – also known as high tunnels or polytunnels – reduces the impact of an increasingly unpredictable climate on crops, mitigates soil erosion, extends the growing season and keeps leafy greens alive through the winter, and enables growers to supply more regional food needs.
The Year-Round Hoophouse is a comprehensive guide to designing and building a hoophouse and making a success of growing abundant, delicious fresh produce all year, whatever your climate and land size. Chapters include:
- Hoophouse siting, size, style, frame construction, and tools
- Bed layout, soil, crop rotations, and extensive coverage of various crops for all seasons
- Organic solutions to pests and diseases
- Disaster preparation
- Tested resources for each chapter.
The Year-Round Hoophouse is ideal for farmers who wish to move into protected growing, as well as beginning farmers in rural and urban spaces. It is an essential reference resource for professors and students of courses in sustainable agriculture, as well as interns and apprentices learning on the job.
Pam Dawling has been farming and providing training in sustainable vegetable production in a large variety of climates for over 40 years, 14 of which have been hoophouse growing, and is the author of the best-selling Sustainable Market Farming. She lives and grows at Twin Oaks community in Virginia.
"The Year Round Hoophouse is a great resource for market farmers looking to extend the growing season. Pam's depth of experience and insight are unsurpassed and this book fills a major gap. I'm looking forward to adapting my planting plan and approach based on the knowledge I gained from this book."
Shawn Jadrnicek, author, The Bio-Integrated Farm
"Pam has packed this readable and usable book with her 15 years of personal experience in tunnels and the experience and expertise of other growers and extension agents. Essential for the beginner, and as an experienced grower, it may become your first go-to for reference."
Steve Moore, farmer and educator
"Once an optional tool for extending the growing season, the hoop house has rapidly become a crucial strategy for sustaining crop production as more variable weather and extremes challenge growers worldwide. The Year-Round Hoophouse offers growers of all kinds a clear, concise, complete, and above all, very wise guide to hoophouse design and construction, growing, and long-term management. Filled with detailed examples, planning worksheets, recommended resources, and many lessons learned from her long experience as a grower, this is a must read for anyone looking to enhance the resilience of their garden or farm."
Laura Lengnick, author, Resilient Agriculture
"Pam Dawling once again excels in the detail she provides, step by step, crop by crop. This book is an incredible resource for anyone wishing to grow — or improve their growing — using protected culture. Her depth of experience and excellent record keeping allow the reader to benefit from her analysis and synthesis of the critical details for successful growing in the hoophouse year-round. Pam expertly tells the specifics from her farm while also noting the variations for different climates and markets. She has clearly devoted herself to gathering the particulars from her farm, researchers, and other growers to provide a comprehensive guide to hoophouse growing, from site selection to post-harvest, long term maintenance, and every step in between. We are fortunate to be the beneficiaries of her stellar work."
Janet Aardema, Broadfork Farm, Chesterfield, Virginia
"I am so glad to find a book with well-structured material supported through years of experience and research to fully address high tunnel construction and production. A welcome and needed addition to agricultural literature, this book delivers the information farmers and gardeners need."
Gena Moore, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association.
"The Year Round Hoophouse is your "one-stop shop" for everything you need to know for growing food year round. Whether you're new to hoophouses or seasoned and savvy, you will find this book a resource you'll keep coming back to. Pam blends her seasoned expertise with a warm and easy-to-read style to empower anyone to plant and savor the harvest year round."
Lisa Kivirist, author, Soil Sisters: A Toolkit for Women Farmers and Homemade for Sale
"This is a comprehensive, no-nonsense resource, packed with practical farmer know-how and illustrations. This is the design, construction, and growing information we've been waiting for to guide farmers and gardeners year-round in all climates."
Atina Diffley, organic farmer and author, Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works
"Many fail to realize just how diverse a skill set is needed by someone who farms. Pam Dawling's new book addresses the needs of a new grower or a grower new to hoophouse production in such a way that is inclusive of that diversity of skills needed. The chapter on drip irrigation is alone extremely valuable. Hoophouses are here to stay and the comprehensive nature of this book will make it an enduring resource."
Robin Kohanowich, Lead Instructor, Sustainable Agriculture Program, Central Carolina Community College
"This book does a great job of demystifying protected production of horticulture crops. The Year- Round Hoophouse is suitable for beginning and experienced growers alike with lots of specifics learned through years of growing. Pam's experience in high tunnel growing really shows in her details on crop production. Overall, a great addition to any farm family's library."
Chris Mullins, Extension Specialist, Greenhouse and Specialty Crops, Virginia State University
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