Garden and High Tunnels (and rogue moose)

Our major project this year (and the end of last year) was building two 26 X 48 foot high tunnels.  It sounds easy; screw the frames together, set’um up and bolt the whole shebang together.  Hmmm.  Not quite that easy.  Our first big discovery was that Curt and I could not lift a single frame unit.   So, hired a couple guys and Curt and they worked madly last fall to get the frames up by the deadline.  This is the one in the back field, frame is complete!

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Here’s the high tunnel by the house, shortly early in the season.

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This spring we moved a lot of dirt and rocks while building new beds.  The beds in the high tunnel by the house T the old beds, just moved.  Unfortunately, in moving all that soil a lot of rocks were picked up and now in the beds.  So, we are always picking rocks; it never ends!

House high tunnel.  The pea trellis Curt is working on is 8 feet tall.  The potatoes to the right of the trellis are over 4 feet tall and still growing.  The board running along the side of the high tunnel is 4 feet high.  Sun Gold and Stupice Tomatoes are in the red cages on the left of pic.  My herbs are just past the post with the hoses at the front of the picture.

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Some of our early harvest.  Tomatoes, potatoes,  dinner with fresh Talkeetan River Red Salmon, our herb and potatoes.

tomatoes 7.2015first potatoes 7.2015      salmon and potatoes july 2015

Sun Gold Tomatoes, Calendula flowers, and a salad.

IMG_0998     calendula in high tunnel 8.6.15   garden salad 7.2015

The high tunnel in the the back is in the horse pasture.  The soil is very minimal; fine for grass but that’s about it.  We purchased garden soil from Susitna Organics in Wasilla.  Pricey, but high quality with added compost.  I wanted to be able to plant and have something not only grow, but thrive.  We’ve gone the route in the past of using “topsoil” that is mixed locally.  It looks great, but is sterile.  It has no soil structure, no  mycorrhizae, the pH is wrong and it needs fertilizer of some sort.  In short, time-consuming and needs a large infusion of money.  Our plants in the field tunnel are doing very well.  We are eating beautiful beets and beet greens, carrots and lettuce.  We have beautiful Toscano kale, De Cicco broccoli, Romanesco Broccoli and Calabrese broccoli, and Costata Romanesco squash coming.  All heirloom varieties.  If the weather continues to cooperate, we’ll be happy.

We also had a bed of Sugar Snap Peas outside the high tunnel.  Peas do so well outside here.  Sadly, a moose came one night and decimated those peas.  In the process, she also knocked down the pea trellis  which smashed into the raspberries.  Luckily, raspberries are hard to kill.  We do have peas in the high tunnel, so hoping they do well in there.   And lastly (for now), the horses enjoying the grass by the house high tunnel.

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