Covering the High Tunnel

Covering the High Tunnel

Covering the High Tunnel

Covering the high tunnel is a four-person job that we accomplish with only the two of us. It’s a lot of work, and the work starts with duct tape. The uneven spots where steel pieces come together had to be taped to keep it from rubbing holes in the polyethylene cover over time. Doing this contributed to getting eight or nine years out of the four-year poly the first time we covered the high tunnel.

Rolled out the poly, measured, and used a 1″ x 3″ as a straight edge. I didn’t cut it exactly straight by following the board. It was a guide that helped me stay “close enough.”



I’m pulling the poly while Steve lifts it to help it unfold.

The solid wall in the back is new. That’s the east side and gets little sun because of the trees. It will help retain some warmth in the winter. I’ll add hooks to the 2″ x 4″s to hang hand tools.

Inside the High Tunnel

We’ve built ten raised bed frames, filled five, and planted four. The steering on the tractor stopped working. It’s an expensive fix – if we can find the part. The sandy loam is more sand than loam, and it has a bit of clay. It’s heavy. Steve makes four 250 foot trips with the wheelbarrow to fill one bed. I add organic matter between loads. We’d be done and the leftover sandy loam would be spread if Cranky were running well. I’ll work on another bed today. Being shorter and not as strong, I expect it to take me eight trips to fill one bed. I’m not enjoying this part of the process and hope to not do it again anytime soon. We will add on to make them higher but not anytime soon.

Questions? I’m happy to answer or explain this in more detail.

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3 thoughts on “Covering the High Tunnel

  1. I can only imagine how hard it is for two people to get that plastic up without tearing. I want to look more into this. We have a couple friends that are doing high tunnels here in our mountains of Virginia within a few miles of us. I think they’re really cool!
    Love your blog!
    Rita

    1. Having the tunnel makes winter a little less harsh. Being able to cut fresh greens when the ground outside is covered with three feet of snow is good for the soul.

      Everyone, if you haven’t visited Rita’s blog, take a look! It’s lovely. There’s a link in her info.

  2. Every year I am most happy when the prepping & planting are DONE. That tunnel is impressive! We went without a tractor for a lot of years, reasoning that we couldn’t afford one – now we have a Kubota & hard to believe we went so many years without as it just makes farm life so much easier. Hope you can get Cranky back in running condition soon.

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