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Hoop House Gardening in Tioga County

Build your own hoop garden!

 

by Melissa Bravo - May 1, 2015

Did you know that with just a couple of salvaged pieces of pipe, and some odd’s and end’s from your local hardware store, you can have your own sustainable hoop house garden all year round?

So says Anne Lo Pinto, organic produce grower from Liberty, PA. Anne was one of several invited speakers at the Women in Agriculture conference on March 25th in Wellsboro, PA. Anne presented two talks to the group of 50 plus women who attended the Conservation District sponsored event. Using examples from her own hoop houses and raised beds, she shared with the group how to maximize the use of companion plantings. That term means grouping various vegetables, herbs, and even flowers together in a complimentary fashion based on available space, the time of year, and the length of time between harvests.

Already have a bed of asparagus out there? Good companions would be basil, tomato, parsley, dill, or coriander. Nasturtium, marigolds, and asters also go well with asparagus plantings. Consider changing up the traditional three sisters planting: beans, squash, and corn. You can exclude the corn and add instead carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, celery or marigolds. In addition to beans and squash, corn goes well with cucumbers, melons, peas, pumpkins, potatoes, radishes and twining flowers.

Anne’s second talk focused on the benefits of cover crops – not only in the outdoor garden, but in raised beds and in greenhouses. Anne seeds all of her gardens with a winter cover crop. Then, can you believe, she uses her chickens to till the soil. Check out this home-made grazing box she created from a few odds and ends. The hut fits perfectly over her raised beds. The chickens not only till the soil, but get a ton of nutrients from the ready-to-eat grain sprouts.

Graphic-HoopGarden

About Anne: Anne moved back to the area in 1981 to her farm in Liberty where her main thrust has been to live as sustainably as possible. She soon began marketing produce and other farm-raised products at the Wellsboro Farmer’s Market and to local health food stores, other greenhouses, and restaurants in the area. She was also one of the first CSA’s (community supported agriculture) in the area. Anne enjoys assisting other producers in managing their farm operations and helping them transition into organics.
________________________

Melissa Bravo of Meadow Lake Farm Consulting Services is a crop, livestock, and vegetation management consultant with more than 28 years of experience and training. She provides education, training, and technical services to landowners desiring to implement best management practices and recommendations related to sustainable agriculture. She can be reached at 814-574-4067.

Credits:

Writing: Melissa Bravo

 

Produced by Vogt Media

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