Do you compete with any greenhouse operations in your area?

Slimy_Okra(2b)October 17, 2011

By "compete", I mean both type of crop and time of year.

I am referring to heated greenhouses only, so not high tunnels and the like.

Do you ever try to sell the environmentally-friendly aspect of your production as opposed to greenhouse growers? No offense to any greenhouse producers on this forum :)

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We have a few greenhouses(heated) in my area, but I haven't started with my greenhouse (unheated) yet. I know the main 2 that I can think of, only grow plants and neither one is that interested in trying 'organic' styles of growing. One actually stated that he couldn't grow some of his flowers without certain chemical methods.

Neither of the greenhouse growers grow veggies inside. I'm far enough away from any veggies/high tunnel growers (40 miles) to make much difference.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 12:40PM
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That's interesting! Despite living in a small city, we have a very large number of greenhouse vegetable growers (including an organic one and a year-round one) because customers are willing to pay anything to have local produce even when it's 40 below outside. There is nothing in the middle i.e. only traditional May-September growers and greenhouse growers, but no high tunnels or other unheated operations. That is a niche I am looking forward to getting into. The question is: is it worth it?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 2:02PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

I use to be the only high tunnel grower around. Now I have helped or others have built their own tunnels. In a 40 mile radius of me, I know of 10-12 growers who use high tunnels to grow produce. Most of which are growing on the backside of the calendar too. Some are growing to sell retail, some wholesale, some are growing for their own use.

I don't know of many who are heating a greenhouse to grow all winter. I do know one person who heats a greenhouse with wood in the spring and sells tomatoes early. He does a good business. This year I was only 2-3 weeks behind him in production from my unheated high tunnels.

Is it worth it? If you have the space and the market, then yes it is. It is easy to sell local produce when you are the only game in town!


    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 3:19PM
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I have hoop houses and I am sustainable/environmentally friendly. And I guess there are other greenhouse operations around me but few seem to grow winter produce and mainly grow flowers and sell pumpkins this time of year.

And I am the only winter CSA in the region so at the moment I have zero competition in that area and since that is about my only market in winter (and in the future will be the main way I will sell as I am dropping farmers markets after this year)

The farmers market I go to has several high tunnel growers and at least 2 greenhouse growers and I welcome them as it makes the farmers market so much better to have more than 2 produce vendors

yes high tunnels are worth it-we have 3 and I believe we will make another one this fall as we could use more tunnel space.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 5:36AM
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Boulderbelt, we want to build some low tunnels and have been online looking at designs. Is there a resource you'd recommend?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 1:23AM
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mustgarden we design and build our own. there is the High Tunnels site that has a lot of information about such things plus it hosts a very very active email list

Here is a link that might be useful: High Tunnels

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 4:03AM
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