The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook, by Andrew Mefferd.
Greenhouse and Hoophouse production in detail.
As the editor for Growing for Market Magazine, long time contributor to technical articles and a seven-year tenure at the research & trial farm at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, and a Market Gardener himself, Andrew is superbly vetted in helping any grower with their production. Both new and veteran growers in greenhouse or hoophouse farms will benefit from Andrew’s exposure to the industry.
If one were to spend any time around new farmer’s, the first topic of discussion; “What should I plant?”. Andrew also showed how protected culture (Greenhouse and Hoophouse) farmers could benefit from the lessons of larger commercial growers. The care & techniques used in large greenhouses can be scaled down to the market gardener, who can use these scientific and researched backed production methods to increase plant health and yield.
Greenhouses and Hoophouses are significant investments for a small farm.
Andrew helps explain the differences between the two structures. Furthermore, the functions and operations such as heating, cooling, and irrigation are covered. Having the know-how and the necessity for recordkeeping for increased profitability and future season’s planning is also discussed as well as cost saving tips.
As Andrew walks you through proper trellising & pruning techniques and tools, one gets the knowledge any new grower struggles over. I have understood the frustration of attempting to lower tomato vines for the first time. I certainly would have liked to have had this book then.
Basic to advanced lessons.
The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook then gets more advanced and covers crop steering, grafting, temperature control. In my opinion, this is what separates good growers from great growers.
The top 8 Crops.
What to grow? There are many growers who are fixated on a particular oddity. These obsessions thankfully get people into growing, but more often than not, the passion is not enough to fuel a business. Staple crops of crowd favorites with a hint of variety sustain a market farmer.
The top eight crops overall are Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Peppers, and eggplant for fruiting crops. And Leafy greens, lettuce, micro greens, and herbs.
Each category is gone over in detail. Care, seeding, variety selections, harvest and selling tips.
With a wealth of hydroponic, pest, diseases, tools, supplies, and a comprehensive reading list; there is something for everyone.
A note on Andrew.
I am fortunate to call Andrew a good friend. While at Johnnie’s Andrew took almost an hour of unscheduled time to help me turn my tomato crop around. I’m sure he doesn’t remember that as he just helps everyone as much as he can. But I will never forget it.
We then started co-presenting back to back for many consecutive CEA Schools for Growers Supply in South, Windsor Ct.
Then Andrew agreed to be a speaker at The State of the Soil Summit and added tremendous value. We were able to film at his farm, one of the highlights of my year. To watch Andrew’s 1-hour interview, clickHere to sign in.
This link, http://www.growingformarket.com/store/products/182, will take you right to http://www.growingformarket.com where you can order this must read.