One of the most important functions of our farm is the production of wholesome food, grown and raised without chemical inputs of any kind. That food is used to sustain our own family, strengthening us for ministry. The portion of that food that we sell provides a small income, which we will use to expand our ministries. We hope to raise enough food to feed 200 local families besides our own, and at least half of those, we hope will be families in need. That food will be distributed directly through various area shelters, soup kitchens, and food banks.
In order to accomplish the start of seeds early in the year (Massachusetts has quite a short growing season), we need to have a large, warm hoophouse. The seeds started in the hoophouse in the spring will cover an approximately 2 acre field that will produce a rotation of vegetables from April peas and brassicas through winter squash and pumpkins. Over winter, we will try to raise greens or meat birds under the shelter of the hoops.
This autumn, we will need to construct a gothic hoophouse approximately 12’x32′ (or larger if possible). Each hoop will need to be bent using a special jig and top rails from chainlink fence. Metal tubing will have to be driven into the ground to anchor each hoop, and purlins will join the hoops together along the length. When the hoops have been erected, a sheet of greenhouse plastic will be stretched over all. End walls will need to be constructed, and a door added for access and security. Finally, a vented heat source will have to be placed along with a fan for circulation in order to nurture the young plants through the cold late winter and early spring months. Tables will need to be constructed from scrap wood and hardware cloth to keep the plants off the ground and allow for easier watering.
- Muscle and know-how
- Chain link fence top rails (for purlins only)
- exterior plywood
- a door
- scrap wood
- hardware cloth
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