Tunnel Vision

08/01/2009 02:00:00 AM

The bows or trusses that usually would be anchored in the ground, he mounts on runners that slide up and down rails made from plastic decking limber.

Page’s movable tunnel measures 24 by 36 feet. He estimates that it cost $700 more to build than a permanent structure, but it was a money saver in the long run.

The structure would cost $4.50 per square foot if it were used only over one plot, Page says. But since it can be used on four or five plots, the cost per square foot comes down to about $1.25

“It’s a way of extending your money,” he says. “It really works out to be quite a bit cheaper.”

Page moves the tunnel to cover plots of winter greens, asparagus, tomatoes, peppers and basil. He plans to see how long into the fall he can grow raspberries in a tunnel, and will test a couple of different varieties to see which performs best.

The project was financed by a Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant of $11,230.

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