Le Tour De Greenhouses

David and Carmelo pick arugula raab in a greenhouse full of overgrown salad greens.

It’s no secret that Gathering Together Farm has embraced the use of season-extending plastic greenhouses. This year we have 38 of them plus the heated propagation greenhouse for starting seedlings. Greenhouses offer extra heat during the cooler seasons and the opportunity to deliver a measured amount of water to plants (as opposed to whatever the sky lets loose). Unfortunately, they are expensive to buy, build, and maintain because of the infrastructure costs and the extra labor hours needed to set up irrigation and do the work that a tractor could do out in an open field. There is also the looming risk of losing greenhouses during winter snow storms or other extreme weather events. This winter we had two small greenhouses collapse under the weight of snow in January (read more here), but the middle-of-the-night snow-sloughing efforts of John, Sally, and several crew members saved the rest during the deep snows at the end of March.

The reality is that we have thousands of individual and restaurant customers that want to buy produce from us year round, and we have nearly a hundred employees that are eager to work as much as possible. Growing under cover allows us to produce larger quantities of higher-quality fruits and vegetables for more of the year than the outdoor Oregon climate would permit.

At this time, all our greenhouses are in use. Our mid-season staples like tomatoes and cucumbers are well established, and some early spring crops are finishing up and will soon be harvested, torn out, or tilled in to prepare for planting fall crops. Each photo (or set of two photos) below represents a single greenhouse, so you should get a good sense of how we’re employing these shelters. (There are two additional greenhouses planted with more tomatoes that were somehow overlooked during the photo shoot. Sorry.) In some of these photos, you will see weeds because unfortunately, this organic farm is not pristinely weed-free.

first of the season strawberries

white salad turnips going to flower

potatoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 raspberries 

beets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  snap peas

zucchini

white salad turnips

carrots

lettuces for salad mix (plus weeds)

potatoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  sage and tarragon

baby leeks that will soon be dug up and transplanted outdoors

marjoram

cucumbers

carrots

scallions (left) and baby bunching onions

 

peppers (See more about planting peppers here.)

carrots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 tomatoes (See more about trellising tomatoes here.)

the propagation greenhouse with the tomato grafting chamber in the back on the left

red leaf head lettuce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 head lettuce

tomatoes

strawberries

Sometimes when we want to add extra heat in a greenhouse, the crew will build a floating row cover tent over the crop.

tomatoes

The crew (Macario on the left and David on the right) lays down plastic mulch in a greenhouse that was  later planted with more tomatoes and eggplant.

tomatoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 bok choy

radicchio for salad mix

potatoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 basil

overwintering chard

flowering watercress

spinach (See more about seeding this spinach in here.)

flowering watercress