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.
“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 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.