Photos and text by Debbie Roos, Agricultural Extension Agent.
Sliding High Tunnels at Peregrine Farm
Farmers Alex and Betsy Hitt of Peregrine Farm use sliding high tunnels for their earliest crops. Some crops spend their whole season inside the tunnels. Others may enjoy the protection afforded by the tunnels early in the season, but then later brave the elements when the tunnels are moved to cover adjacent crops. The tunnel on the left is planted in tomatoes (look closely and you will see that the tomato crop inside has been covered by row covers to provide an extra layer of protection against a cold night in early April when temperatures dipped into the high 20s.
Betsy plants some of her cut flowers in the high tunnel for protection from the rain (which can damagee an otherwise perfect bloom) and cold temperatures. Pictured here are anemones (on left) and also Asiatic lilies grown in crates (drip irrigation tape lies across the top of the crates). Stock is planted on the right. Betsy has been growing cut flowers for over 20 years and is always on the cutting edge for new varieties and new techniques. She often conducts variety trials on her farm for North Carolina State University. Betsy has also long been active as an officer with the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers and helps direct their on-farm research activities.
Stunning anemones bring a smile on a cool spring day!