Chelsea Green Publishing

The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower's Handbook

Pages:288 pages
Book Art:Full-color photographs throughout
Size: 8 x 10 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603586375
Pub. Date February 15, 2017

The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower's Handbook

Organic Vegetable Production Using Protected Culture

Categories:
Farm & Garden

Availability: In Stock

Paperback

Available Date:
February 15, 2017

$34.95

Best practices for the eight most profitable crops

Today only a few dozen large-scale producers dominate the greenhouse produce market. Why? Because they know and employ best practices for the most profitable crops: tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, peppers, leafy greens, lettuce, herbs, and microgreens. The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook levels the playing field by revealing these practices so that all growers—large and small—can maximize the potential of their protected growing space. Whether growing in a heated greenhouse or unheated hoophouse, this book offers a decision-making framework for how to best manage crops that goes beyond a list of simple do’s and don’ts.

As senior trial technician for greenhouse crops at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, author Andrew Mefferd spent seven years consulting for growers using protected agriculture in a wide variety of climates, soils, and conditions. The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook brings his experience and expertise to bear in an in-depth guide that will help readers make their investment in greenhouse space worthwhile.

Every year, more growers are turning to protected culture to deal with unpredictable weather and to meet out-of-season demand for local food, but many end up spinning their wheels, wasting time and money on unprofitable crops grown in ways that don’t make the most of their precious greenhouse space. With comprehensive chapters on temperature control and crop steering, pruning and trellising, grafting, and more, Mefferd’s book is full of techniques and strategies that can help farms stay profitable, satisfy customers, and become an integral part of re-localizing our food system. From seed to sale, The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook is the indispensable resource for protected growing.

REVIEWS AND PRAISE

“From small hobby farmers to advanced greenhouse growers, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t benefit from reading The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook. Andrew does an exemplary job of highlighting basic principles of plant growth and microclimate modification to help producers design their own management systems and diagnose problems in the greenhouse or hoophouse.”--Cary Rivard, extension specialist, Kansas State University

The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook answers the questions that both new and established farmers are asking, including which staple crops will sustain a farm’s operation and how to best maximize yield. As protected agriculture continues to grow in popularity and necessity, Andrew’s book will help farmers at every level achieve higher profits as they use this reference to guide them through the seasons under film. A must-have for any grower."--Nick Burton, owner, Victory Gardens, Paris, Texas; founder, State of the Soil

“This comprehensive book is a must-have for organic greenhouse and hoophouse producers, whether experienced or just getting started. Andrew Mefferd’s years as both a grower and a writer shine through. He clearly explains the basics of structures and environmental management, while also covering the nuances of grafting and ‘steering’ plants to be most productive. Growers will be pleased with the attention devoted to the best practices they’ll need to succeed with eight different crops.”--Vern Grubinger, vegetable and berry specialist, University of Vermont Extension

“When we started our wholesale greenhouse back in 1974, the best references were the equipment catalogs, and we pored over them each night. Now Andrew Mefferd has created the most complete greenhouse grower’s manual in the world. It contains the full spectrum of proper greenhouse growing for organic vegetable production and all its factors and, importantly, is detailed from a foundation of experience. This book is a fact-filled treasure, accessible for all. Thank you for debriefing, Andrew. You are a hero of horticulture!”--Alice Doyle, cofounder, Log House Plants

“Finally! A book that makes the specialized and highly refined techniques of the big European and North American hothouse growers accessible to farmers, market gardeners, and growers at all scales, with clear explanations of the practices and why they work. It took me twenty years to figure out half of this on my own; I’m glad I don’t have to wait another twenty to figure out the rest.”--Josh Volk, author of Compact Farms; consultant, Slow Hand Farm

“Hats off to Andrew Mefferd and his comprehensive guide to growing in a protected environment! While covering all the basics, this book takes growers to the next level, with in-depth discussions on the physical environment, plant biology, and their intriguing relationship. Once hard-to-find info on topics such as plant steering and grafting is presented thoroughly and clearly. Importantly, the last chapters cover the practical ins and outs of growing eight of the most significant crops for protected culture. Every grower will learn lots from this book; I sure did.”--Richard Wiswall, author of The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook

“Andrew Mefferd’s book fills a gaping void in the literature for market growers. I highly recommend it to anyone growing in greenhouses, or who aspires to. With experience few others have, Mefferd explains growing techniques used in advanced greenhouses, and then shows how smaller-scale growers might put them to use. I kept a pencil by my side and plan to use lots of ideas on our own farm.”--Ben Hartman, author of The Lean Farm

“This is an important book that will give growers the tools and resources to increase production and profits in protected culture environments. In one book, Andrew has packaged the detailed technical growing information that took us years and thousands of dollars to acquire for our farm. This book will be one I refer to and recommend often.”--Michael Kilpatrick, farmer; cofounder, In the Field Consultants

The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook is a must-read for beginners as well as a valuable, up-to-date resource for experienced growers. Mefferd has written a comprehensive overview of the elements of growing crops under cover. So much of the food available now is from greenhouse production, and most from faraway lands. This book will help you be the one growing crops for your local market.”--Eric Sideman, PhD, crop specialist, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association

“Although greenhouse and high-tunnel food production is a well-established industry, small and beginning growers have never had easy access to information about how the professionals do it. Andrew Mefferd has bridged that gap with this important new book. He makes technical information accessible in a lively and lucid style. Everyone who owns or plans to buy a greenhouse or hoophouse should read this book.”--Lynn Byczynski, author of Market Farming Success and The Flower Farmer; founder, Growing for Market

“With this book, Andrew Mefferd, a firm supporter of the local food movement, offers a knowledgeable contribution to help growers (especially in cold climates) develop skills to deal with challenges and reap the benefits of protected cropping. This is not a generalist hoophouse book but a menu where growers can select specialized professional practices to suit their situation, whether growing microgreens; grafting, pruning, and trellising vine crops; or ‘crop steering’ to select for leaf growth or fruit development.”--Pam Dawling, author of Sustainable Market Farming; contributing editor, Growing for Market 

“The production of organic vegetables using protected culture to modify the natural environment and optimize plant growth is one of the most highly productive systems for organic vegetables. This handbook provides a broad spectrum of knowledge on growing structures and climate control as well as propagation, pruning, trellising, crop steering for maximum production, and grafting plants for natural disease control. For aspiring market gardeners, young and old, The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook is a must-read!”--Dr. Merle H. Jensen, professor, Controlled Environment Agriculture Center, The University of Arizona

“Finally, a seasoned greenhouse grower has taken the time to share professional greenhouse techniques with the small-scale farming community. Such valuable work was a long time in the coming! Whether you’re currently growing in a greenhouse or hoophouse or planning to do so (and you should!), this book will teach you the best practices. It concisely and methodologically demystifies the all-encompassing skill set that you need to become successful at growing lucrative crops in protected space. Andrew Mefferd knows his stuff, and his book is absolute gold. Can’t recommend it enough.”--Jean-Martin Fortier, author of The Market Gardener

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Mefferd

Andrew Mefferd spent seven years in the research department at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, traveling around the world to consult with researchers and farmers on the best practices in greenhouse growing. He put what he learned to use on his own farm in Maine. He is now the editor and publisher of Growing for Market magazine. Previously, he worked on farms in six states across the United States before starting his own farm. Andrew also works as a consultant on the topics covered in this book. For more about the magazine, please visit www.growingformarket.com. For more information on consulting, see www.andrewmefferd.com.

AUTHOR VIDEOS

Ten Tips for Greenhouse and Hoop House Production

Andrew Mefferd and his wife run One Drop Farm in Maine. They produce a bounty of produce; from broccoli to zucchini, Jerusalem artichokes to potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, peas, and celeriac to name just a few. Vegetables and seedlings are available year round because of their green and hoop house production. He shares his best practices in this webinar.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Keeping a Family Cow

Keeping a Family Cow

By Joann S. Grohman

The cow is the most productive, efficient creature on earth. She will give you fresh milk, cream, butter, and cheese, build human health and happiness, and even turn a profit for homesteaders and small farmers who seek to offer her bounty to the local market or neighborhood. She will provide rich manure for your garden or land, and will enrich the quality of your life as you benefit from the resources of the natural world. Quite simply, the family that keeps a cow is a healthy family.

Originally published in the early 1970s as The Cow Economy and reprinted many times over, Keeping a Family Cow has launched thousands of holistic small-scale dairy farmers and families raising healthy cows in accordance with their true nature. The book offers answers to frequently asked questions like, 'Should I get a cow?' and 'How Much Space do I need?' in addition to extensive information on:

•    The health benefits of untreated milk;
•    How to milk a cow effectively and with ease;
•    Choosing your dairy breed;
•    Drying off your cow;
•    Details on calving and breeding;
•    The importance of hay quality and how to properly feed your cow;
•    Fencing and pasture management;
•    Housing, water systems, and other supplies;
•    Treating milk fever and other diseases and disorders;
•    Making butter, yogurt, and cheese, and, of course . . .
•    . . . Everything else the conventional dairy industry doesn’t tell us!

Now revised and updated to incorporate new information on the raw milk debate, the conversation about A1 vs. A2 milk, fully grassfed dairies, more practical advice for everyday chores, and updated procedures for cow emergencies.

Keeping a Family Cow has not only stood the test of time, it still remains the go-to inspirational manual for raising a family milk cow nearly forty years after its first publication. Joann Grohman has a lifetime of practical experience that has been bound into this one volume and presented in the spirit of fun and learning.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Keeping a Family Cow

Joann S. Grohman

Paperback $19.95

Business Advice for Organic Farmers with Richard Wiswall (DVD)

Business Advice for Organic Farmers with Richard Wiswall (DVD)

By Richard Wiswall

Contrary to popular belief, a good living can be made on an organic farm. What's required is farming smarter, not harder.

In this filmed workshop and interview, recorded at the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Winter Conference in 2010 and at Cate Farm, longtime farmer Richard Wiswall shares his story, and offers detailed advice on how to make your farm production more efficient, better manage your employees and finances, and turn a profit.

From his thirty years of experience at Cate Farm in Vermont, Wiswall knows firsthand the joys of starting and operating an organic farm - as well as the challenges of making a living from one. Farming offers fundamental satisfaction from producing food, working outdoors, being one's own boss, and working intimately with nature. But, unfortunately, many farmers avoid learning about the business end of farming, and because of this, they often work harder than they need to, or quit farming altogether because of frustrating - and often avoidable - losses. This workshop offers invaluable exercises for business-savvy farmers, including information on the costs of running a farm, office and bookkeeping management, creating a budget and crop enterprise plan, and getting down the the nuts and bolts of business management, that's easy to understand.

Through in-the-classroom footage and step-by-step guidance to "sharpening the pencil", as well as footage of Wiswall's fields, greenhouse, and barn, viewers will leave this "workshop" knowing how to achieve true profit, that will last for years to come. Also included is a bonus disc with downloadable spreadsheets for creating your own budget, marketing, profit and loss statement, balance sheet, and cash flow.

Available in: DVD

Read More

Business Advice for Organic Farmers with Richard Wiswall (DVD)

Richard Wiswall

DVD $24.95

Farms with a Future

Farms with a Future

By Rebecca Thistlethwaite

What makes a farm sustainable and successful? And what special qualities and skills are needed for someone to become a successful farmer?

Rebecca Thistlethwaite addresses these and other crucial questions in this uniquely important book, which is a must-read for anyone who aspires to get into farming, or who wants to make their farm business more dynamic, profitable, and, above all, sustainable. Over an entire year, the author and her husband-experienced farmers themselves-took a sabbatical and traveled the length and breadth of the United States to live and work alongside some of the nation's most innovative farmers. Along the way they learned about best practices, and a whole lot about what doesn't work.

Farms with a Future shares this collective wisdom in an inspirational yet practical manner; it will help beginners avoid many of the common mistakes that first-time farmers make. Just as importantly, it discusses positive ideas that can help make any farm enterprise vibrant and financially profitable. Profiles of more than a dozen representative farms help round out the invaluable information and encourage farmers to embrace their inner entrepreneur. Younger growers, in particular, will benefit by learning about "the right stuff" from both their peers and longtime experts.This book provides a useful reference for beginning and experienced farmers alike. While many other books address agricultural production, there are very few that talk about business management for long-term sustainability. Farms with a Future offers an approachable, colorful take on building a triple-bottom-line farming business.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Farms with a Future

Rebecca Thistlethwaite, Richard Wiswall

Paperback $29.95

How to Make a Forest Garden, 3rd Edition

How to Make a Forest Garden, 3rd Edition

By Patrick Whitefield

A forest garden is a food-producing garden, based on the model of a natural woodland or forest. It is made up of fruit and nut trees, fruit bushes, perennial vegetables and herbs. It can be tailored to fit any space, from a tiny urban back yard to a large rural garden.

A close copy of a natural ecosystem, it is perhaps the most ecologically friendly way of gardening open to us.

It is also a low-maintenance way of gardening. Once established there is none of the digging, sowing, planting out and hoeing of the conventional kitchen garden. The main task is picking up the produce!

This highly practical, yet inspiring book gives you everything you need to know in order to create a beautiful and productive forest garden,
including:

  • Basic principles
  • Layout
  • How to choose plants
  • Details of over one hundred plants, from apples to mushrooms
  • the most comprehensive account of perennial and self-seeding vegetables in print
  • A step-by-step guide to creating your garden
  • Full details of an example garden, and pictures of many more

Forest gardening is an important element of permaculture. This book explains in detail permaculture design for temperate climates and contains much of interest for anybody wanting to introduce sustainable practices into their garden.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

How to Make a Forest Garden, 3rd Edition

Patrick Whitefield

Paperback $30.00