Winter storage

Farm gear stored in hoophouse

Snow’s here—it’s definitely overwinter storage time! Winter storage is a little different every year, as needs, facilities, and plans change. This time around, a fair bit of gear is in the 20’x32′ (~6×10 m) hoophouse, with its full sun exposure and fairly extreme temperature spread (from double-digit subzero at night, to 80-100°F/25-38°C on a sunny day!). Sooo, you don’t want to be storing just anything in there. Anything that’s damaged by freezing isn’t a good idea. And plastics that aren’t UV-resistant will break down, fading and weakening (really, most plastics not meant for constant outdoor use should probably be kept out of the sun whenever possible). Here, it’s mostly wood—extra rough cut cedar from a project a couple of years back, tomato stakes, tables, farmers’ market display trays—which is OK, and I’ll get the plastic items under cover. Except for checking the snow load on the hoophouse after big storms, that’s all she wrote until early spring. The outdoor part of veggie farming in our growing zone will now take a bit of a snooze…

21 thoughts on “Winter storage”

  1. Hey Mike,
    Very impressed with your year at the new farm.  This pic looks soooo familiar, ha ha.  We just got 2+ feet of snow.  Before that it was so muddy I could not even get to the tunnel!  I would like to try growing over the winter but have no where else to store my stuff.  Until that gets resolved, it is non producing.
    Have a wonderful holiday and successful new year.

  2. Nice greenhouse, I have one that is not hooped but slant roofed I used garden fencing under the plastic to take the snow load. works OK if I get out and see to it the big heavy snow is swept off.
    I see you have a nice tractor with a front end loader on it I wish I had one of them! peace to you and yours this holiday season.
    Rich@ NY Homesteader

  3. Great site!  I love reading your entries and keeping up with the monthly happenings. Thanks for the pictures. It brings back memories of growing up on a small northern Minnesota farm with a large garden.

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  5. I cant wait for the snow to go away and for spring to break through there.  I love reading about your garden/farm and seeing the inovative stuff you do!

    Do you ever use the hoop hose to hold your compost durring the winter and keep it somewhat warm?

  6. I am new to your site and was really pleased to come upon it. I have 2.5 acres and am into my second year of trying to make a go of a ‘small farm’. I have found your site to be a great motivator.
    BC, Canada.

  7. Good luck in the snow – we actually have some proper snow here in the UK so can kind of understand how you feel! Trying to figure how to get m leeks out of the frozen soil. Any tips?

  8. got my first post up….check er’ out.

    just went and tapped some maple trees, let you know how that turns out.

  9. Mike, tinyfarmblog is my favorite place on the Internet. I am wondering what kind of plastic cover you use on your greenhouse? This spring we will put up a standing-room hoop house based on a perfect old foundation on our 18,000 sf lot. The earliest photos of our town show a house on that foundation ~ 1883. We are experienced gardeners & grow in zone 4 at elevation 6500 ft. With this greenhouse we plan to heat below the soil with plastic pipe like a floor. Our heat source will be hot manure, probably enclosed in a big cold frame like the old french market gardeners hot beds. We will circulate the heating medium via a solar panel & small pump. My friend Bill Pereira of “Big Chief Organics” has built a dozen gardens with this setup for extending the season in the chilly, maritime Carmel Valley near his family grass-fed beef ranch. I love good experiments. I look forward to sharing how we get the top taut — my son is a deep-water sailor so he knows sheets in the wind.  :-)  I am looking for the best cover material — if you have a favorite.

  10. Really cool site! with the snow melting our Greenhouse is coming along great, we have a 20ft one from   and for strength and simplicity they can’t be beat.
     Putting a small woodstove in it, now they have a unique Veg Oil Stove that can be used as C02 generator as well as heater~  

  11. Glad to visit your blog from
    You have done a good job.
    May I have a newsletters from your site?




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