January 30, 2011


I spend most of the day on Saturday and Sunday getting the endwalls up on the new hoop building. It wasn't that hard to do. Dig a hole in the ground, set the post, fill it back in. Level the 2 by 4, attach a bracket at the top (13 feet, 4 inches in the air) screw it in. Move on to the next post. The problem arose because the north end of the tunnel is in the shade. It is January and the ground is frozen! It makes it hard to put in posts. So I had to chip a foot of frozen dirt before I could dig. On the south side, the sun side. It wasn't frozen, digging post holes was easy.

Along the way the 2 by 6 that goes along the edge of the hoop had to be attached. All of these pieces were marked when I took them down and when I put them back up, I was matching cut nails and nail holes. I guess I did a good job!

We still need to add some bracing and blocking between the posts, frame in for the doors and make the doors. Finally, we will add the plastic to the endwalls. Once the plastic is on the endwalls, we will be ready to pull the plastic over the whole building. Once that is done, we will take the smaller hoop building down (in the warm, wind free comfort of the bigger hoop building and reconstruct it at a new location.

All in time, well before planting time that is!

High tunnel when I bought it.


Tunnel with Ends out

Baseboard and two purlins gone

Tunnel constructed one hour west of it previous location


Tunnel with endwalls reinstalled


Just a different angle

New home for the small inside hoop


January 28, 2011

Bye, Bye Napa Cabbage

Today I took out the rest of our fall planted Napa Cabbage. They survived the long winter and were starting to show signs of new growth, but we are trying to get the building ready to replant and didn't want to leave any old crops to provide a hiding place for bugs, so out they came. All isn't lost, instead of 3.0-3.5 pound heads, they are these little, cute 1.25 pound heads. Great for a fresh winter salad.

We are planting more this weekend and hopefully we will start to harvest in April, May and June.


Napa cabbage is a sweet, crunchy cabbage. It also goes by the name Chinese Cabbage. Of all my winter garden crops, I am rating these a tie for number 1. The other one being carrots.

Napa Cabbage is very versatile. You can cook it, stew it, coleslaw it, salad it, stir-fry it, use it as a roll-up, or just eat it leaf by leaf ( my favorite).

We have several Napa Cabbages in the fridge, so hopefully we can make them last several more weeks.

January 25, 2011

Got Carrots?

Well it is January 25th and we are still winter harvesting away. I had several people ask for some carrots at school, so I decided I would dig a tub and fill their orders. Then I took the rest to sell at school. These carrots are simply delicious. The plants don't look the best, but hey they have pulled through -11 degrees and are still around to let us eat them!


We have started to eat a lot of carrots. I would say we include carrots in our meals 4 or more times a week. The best recipe was a Cream Cheese filled Carrot Bundt Cake YUM! Sorry no pictures, we ate the whole thing.

Cream Cheese Filled Carrot Bundt Cake

1 8-oz package Philadelphia Brand - cream cheese -softened
(you can also substitute light Neufchatel cheese for the cream cheese)
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs, beaten
3 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped nuts(I like pecans!)
Powdered sugar for dusting, if preferred
How to make it

Combine cream cheese, sugar and egg, mixing until well blended.
Set aside
Combine dry ingredients
Add combined oil, eggs and vanilla. mixing just until moistened
Fold in carrots and nuts.
Reserve 2 cups batter; pour remaining batter into greased & floured 9-inch bundt pan
Pour cream cheese mixture over batter; carefully spoon reserved batter over creamed cheese mixture, spreading to cover.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 55 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan.
Cool thoroughly.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

I sure will miss them when they are gone, but we are getting ready to plant the spring ones this weekend!

January 22, 2011

January Ground Work

With 7 inches of snow on the ground, it was a perfect day for tilling inside the high tunnels. Many of our winter crops are slowly losing quality and we are getting ready to start planting this years crops, so it was clean up time. Since everything was cleaned out, why not till up the seed beds and prep them for planting. We still need to add some compost, sulfur (helps lower the pH) and some fertilizer (if necessary). One light tilling and we will start planting around February 1st.

The 2 foot snow drift with the tilled tunnel behind.


3.5 rows done, .5 more to go


2 rows done


We still have some Napa Cabbage, green onions and Haikuri Turnips growing. We will be finish harvesting them in the next few weeks.

January 7, 2011

Great Plains Vegetable Conference

We are having a great time at the GPVGC. We have meet many need people. If you learned about our farm, thank you for taking the time to check us out. If you have a question, please let us know.

Jay and Linda