Utilizing a greenhouse is important in market farming because we live in an age of supermarket convenience where customers have come to expect the availability of out of season produce.

For example, the grocery store sells tomatoes in April and peas in October. In order to compete, local growers should attempt to come close to those goals for the time of the year when their market farm operation is up and running.

Vegetable growers can capture and hold new markets and receive higher prices by having produce available as early or as late as possible compared to unprotected outdoor crops.

As a market farmer, you will find that meeting a local demand or running a market stand with a policy of ‘everything all the time’ pays off handsomely. 

Why Is A Greenhouse Important In Farming?

A greenhouse is important in farming because its use allows you to extend your growing season. This means you can be selling tomatoes when nobody else is, giving you the first-to-market advantage over other vegetable growers in your area.

Being the first to market with high-quality vegetables is likely to increase your clientele quickly as you become the go-to farmer for early veg in your community.

Growing In A Greenhouse

The aim of a greenhouse is to create climatic conditions that are optimum for plant growth. The same applies to soil conditions.

Plant growth is intensified in the greenhouse, so extra care must be taken with soil preparation.

Applications of high-quality compost are required for successful greenhouse culture.

Greenhouse tomatoes and cucumbers are two of the most demanding crops and they need exceptional fertility, not only for soil preparation but also a compost top dressing applied once every 6 weeks.

Lettuce, another major greenhouse crop, will do well in a rotation with either tomatoes or cucumbers without further soil amendment.

It’s important to know what amendments each crop needs so you can plan accordingly.

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Greenhouse Farming?

Heated greenhouse production of high-demand crops is a valuable magnet to attract customers to the rest of your farm’s produce.

It can also be a highly lucrative area of specialization in its own right.

However, best to give it some thought before jumping in with both feet. Growing high-quality greenhouse veggies demands a real commitment to management and attention to detail.

It’s a good idea to postpone serious commercial greenhouse production until your farm is well established and more capital can be acquired.

Then, give it a whirl if you want, which you probably should, just my 2 cents anyway.

Well, this was certainly a short but sweet article. My intention was to highlight the importance of incorporating a greenhouse into your market farm plan.

Much of this information was obtained from Eliot Coleman’s The New Organic Grower. He has a ton of information on season extensions that you will find very useful so check out his books if you haven’t already.

We being first-year growers in the 2021 farming season, will not have a greenhouse this year. Heck, we don’t even have a hoophouse yet! 

If you’re like us and like a good deal, keep your eyes and ears open on websites like Kijiji, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace, you never know when a used greenhouse or other pieces of equipment will come up for sale. 

Being the first to market with tomatoes and other veg is very important and will give you a significant market advantage over other growers at the farmer’s market. This is why I believe that investing in a greenhouse will only benefit your market garden.

Do you use a greenhouse or other season extensions? Let us know in the comments below.

Stay Local,

Kathy & Jon

your friendly neighbourhood growers



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