Greenhouse #2 is almost done except the door. The raised beds are done, the paths mulched.
How do we use permaculture principles on a production farm? The raised beds will never be turned or tilled, we use natural mulches like leaves that come from our region only. We grow a diversity of crops, as many of them companion planted as possible. We build the soil, and conseve and reuse water. We grow year-round through the use of plastic in order to decrease our dependence on foreign production and petroleum, and we use no petroleum for producing the food, just delivering it. The real challenge is that as a SPIN farm, we have to travel to our farm plots. This is technically a Zone 3 area that we have to farm like a Zone 1 area in order to keep production high. To allleviate this we try to farm smart - using worms to help us compost faster and reduce turning, mulching, keeping on top of weeds before they seed, building the soil to make our plants more resistant, and putting in some timed irrigation. This is the future of food production.
For the curious, this greenhouse cost about $450 for 20 x 40. The basic materials are PVC, 2x4’s, and 6 mil plastic. It would not last well in a place that gets heavy snow, but it wouldn’t cost much more to invest in metal electrical conduit instead of PVC.