Sunnyside Farm, a 12-acre family farm in Dover, PA, received a $5,000 grant to build a hoop house and test a theory that growing in shallow fabric slings the length of the hoop house can increase production eight times over.
“We have built our four-layer sling beds inside our constructed hoophouse. The theory we wanted to test is for wintertime growing production increases by growing vertically. We wanted cheap, easily available infrastructure to increase growing spinach.
The towers grew harvestable spinach at the same rate as the spinach grown in the beds. The same square footage, with three additional layers of growing space, increased our harvest by about 2.5 times. And the beds right next to those towers filled out and grew nicely too. So it is not too much shade produced that it stops growth in the beds.” ~ Drusilla Peters, owner