VIDEO: The Ins and Outs of High Tunnels with Pete’s Produce Farm

July 31, 2018

 

The Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing & Research Program, in honor of PA Produce Month, traveled to Chester County, PA to talk to Peter Flynn of Pete’s Produce Farm in West Chester about high tunnels. Ever wonder what those structures are for if they aren’t greenhouses? How do they impact the local food system, making farm fresh veggies more accessible for YOU? Take a moment and find out!

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  • Good Evening from @oaknutfarm ! Thanks for following along today and joining us in celebrating #paproducemonth . We really enjoyed sharing a bit about our farm and are truly honored to be a part of the amazing PA food shed and it’s community of dedicated produce growers. 
#paveggies #paveggiesguestig
  • This is Sean and my 5th growing season as @oaknutfarm though we have been doing the organic vegetable farming shindig together since 2006. We met and worked at/managed three other produce farms in PA, NJ, and VA prior to moving back to PA to be closer to family. (Side bar: For anyone considering this line of livelihood—because it’s not just work—we highly suggest being an intern or apprentice first). Our previous experience has guided a lot of our decision making process on what to grow and how to grow it—but our main goal is that it tastes good! We pride ourselves on nourishing our local community with the highest quality produce. Sean and I really enjoy adding a few new crops (and dumping some) each season to our repertoire of 40 different vegetables, fruits, herbs, and specialty items—like log-grown shiitake and oyster mushrooms, fresh ginger and turmeric, and cut flowers.
#paproducemonth #paveggies #paveggiesguestig
  • After lunch is always doggie walking time with our sweet rescue “sholly” (Shepherd/Border Collie Mix), Sienna. We usually head out to the farm and on her favorite days she gets to chase down a groundhog. 
Our farm land was originally my parent’s and where we had a family garden growing up. The property is about 18 acres (12 tillable) and located close to the Blue Mountains and Appalachian Trail. We grow on less than three acres and have two passive solar high tunnels.

Our home property is located two doors down from my parent’s home and diagonal from the farm land. Our house was actually my childhood best friend’s house—so I spent just as much time in the house as my own as a kid. 
Our home property is also where we have our On-Farm Farm Stand and where we do our produce washing and packing. This afternoon we were busy doing our final harvesting and prep for our farm stand which is open today from 3-6pm. A big highlight for today was the first official TWO half pints of red raspberries for sale that my husband Sean picked from the raspberry canes he and Ginger gifted me for Mother’s Day last year. We since have added two more beds from that original nurse row for a total of 600 feet of raspberry canes! Next year will certainly be amazing!!! #paveggies #paveggiesguestig #paproducemonth
  • The month of August, for most produce farmers I think, feels like a non-stop marathon. But, instead of running, you’re sprinting the entire way and never quite catching up. This morning was a perfect example—beginning with a computer that refused to turn on so I could send out our weekly farm newsletter—that of course was supposed to be sent out last evening. Once the sun came up and the computer remained asleep—I decided to delay the newsletter (again) and continue to the flower harvesting for today’s on-farm farm stand and for one of our restaurant wholesale orders. After the flowers, it was time to tend to the laying ducks and chickens with our 7-year-old daughter, Ginger. She completes this task often still wearing her pjs—and I don’t mind one bit—as I appreciate the help and the extra snuggles she give the ladies while I’m buzzing around. Then it’s off to town to make our restaurant delivery and pick up some groceries and poultry feed before heading back home for lunch.

#paproducemonth #paveggies #paveggiesguestig
  • Good Morning from @oaknutfarm ! My name is Jennifer and today I’ll be sharing about our small family farm located in northwestern Berks County in our Instagram takeover of #paveggies in honor of #paproducemonth . But first I need to finish harvesting flowers and have some coffee. Thanks for following along!

#paveggiesguestig
  • Today we’re heading to Bethel PA to let @oaknutfarm tell their #paveggies story. Their roots run deep in the good food and farming world so you’ll want to tune in for this special takeover in honor of #paproducemonth #pennsylvania #vegetables #bethel #berkscounty #farmlife #goodfood #localfood #agriculture
  • Thank y’all so much for following along today! There’s so much more to share, so follow along at @kneehighfarm to see how our season grows. Many thanks to @paveggies for hosting these farmer takeovers, and bringing awareness to #paproducemonth ! Take care y’all, and enjoy the late summer bounty! #paveggies #paveggiesguestig #kneehighfarm #igtakeover #localfarms #buyfreshbuylocalpa
  • As of last year, a new addition to the farm was cut flowers. These have proven to be incredible attractants for beneficial pollinators. They are also a profitable option for areas of the farm where growing veggies isn’t ideal due to soil quality. •
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If you drive by the farm, the flowers are the first area you see near our farm stand. We like to think of them attracting and welcoming folks to the farm (just like the bees!) Our farm stand is open to the public, Tuesdays from 3 - 6, and Wednesday - Saturday most of the day (honor system). We’d love to have you stop by and take a peak at what we got growing. #paveggies #paproducemonth #paveggiesguestig #kneehighfarm #farmstand #cutflowers #polinators
  • Growing delicious veggies all starts with the soil. We’ve been experimenting with low-till techniques to reduce compaction and increase soil biology and structure. We farm in a very wet area, with heavy clay as the predominant soil type. It is our top priority to feed and heal the soil, so we can grow the most nutritious and healthiest vegetables. 
#paveggies #paveggiesguestig #kneehighfarm #healthysoil #healthesoil #certifiednaturallygrown #paproducemonth #beyondorganic

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