One obvious way to grow more food over a longer period is through the use of a greenhouse. Most gardeners of all experience levels have talked about putting up a greenhouse at some point. But until now, the major limiting factor for most people has been the cost. If you can find one in a price range that you might be able to afford, the cost of shipping usually becomes the “make it or break it” factor. Then, if you hire a group to put it up, the cost can become prohibitive. If you buy one of the mini “hobby greenhouse” kits, they are also expensive, usually only big enough to grow several African violets in and not very functional or sturdy.

     DR. TOMATO thought about this conundrum for a while and came up with the following. First, the only specialized, difficult to obtain component of a good greenhouse is the hoops. Everything else can be gathered locally and used easily to produce a strong, fully functional, commercial grade greenhouse. So, why not produce hoops for people and show them how to build their own greenhouse? That’s exactly what he did.

You can build this!

    DR. TOMATO bends his own greenhouse hoops and makes them available for you to purchase at prices you probably won’t believe. Then, either through periodic “hands on” greenhouse building seminars or brief private consultation sessions, you can learn what you need from local stores to complete your greenhouse and exactly how to build it yourself. It is NOT rocket science. If you choose this route, you can end up with a commercial grade greenhouse and save up to 75% of the cost of a “store bought” greenhouse or shipped in kit. 

Raised bed kit with 4 foot low tunnel hoops.

    Not ready for a full size greenhouse? Try low tunnel growing. This technique has been around for years and is remarkably effective and inexpensive. You basically put up a “mini-greenhouse” using either 4 foot or 6 foot (width at the base) low hoops. The result? Cover the same area as a full size greenhouse for somewhere around 1/20 the cost. Low tunnels can extend your growing season by a couple of months on each end of the season if used correctly. Dr. TOMATO also bends up low tunnel hoops and makes them available for you to purchase.

     Because I do not want to use this site as a “store”, if you have questions about the greenhouse hoops, low tunnel hoops or greenhouse building workshops, contact me at the link below.

     If you already have a greenhouse and have questions about how to use it effectively, feel free to contact me.

The south side of the Mother Ship buttoned up in mid winter.

      Dr. Tomato designed and engineered the now famous “Mother Ship” passive solar, fuel free, four season, commercial greenhouse in Northwood, New Hampshire. If your organization or business is interested in discussing the science of fuel free growing, contact Dr. Tomato at the link below.   

The Mother Ship collecting and storing BTU's in winter.

   Extending your family’s growing season and maximizing food production is easily within the reach of virtually everyone. Take control of you own food production and share the harvest with those you know who are less fortunate.




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