One of our big early winter tasks is getting the low tunnels covered for the winter. We have about 2/3 of an acre covered in a mini-greenhouse system that will keep them relatively cozy and warm for the duration. One-third of an acre is a special variety of strawberries that come in a few weeks early in the spring, and covering them with plastic gives them a little extra jump. The other third of an acre is mostly carrots, along with a little bit of spinach, lettuce, and kale. Those crops are all planted in early November and then covered, where they will hang out at the seedling stage until next spring, when we will picking greens by March (just in time for us to be getting rid of greenhouse greens so that we can plant tomatoes) and carrots by late May. We have played with a few different systems for these low tunnels, and are finally back to our original system, which is one giant one-third acre piece of plastic. It’s a lot of work, and it takes some teamwork from some hefty farm workers to get it out of the barn, and rolled out onto the field. But it is a lot less work than some of the other systems we have used that have a smaller tunnel over every bed, secured with dirt, or sandbags, or bungie cords, which inevitably blow off in January when it’s freezing cold out. We’re heading into our hibernation period too. We don’t curl ourselves up under a giant piece of plastic to wait for spring, but we are ticking off the list of things that need to be done outside; soon most of our work will be in greenhouses and on the computer!

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