Super excited to see how our 4 panel cattle panel high tunnels faired against a very powerful late winter two day storm. Nearly 0F wind chill, heavy winds and almost 16" of snow later they performed amazingly. I'm psyched to share! Would love to hear what people think, good or bad...
We just went thru a really brutal wind storm a few days ago. There was a tornado not far from here and we had gusts to 70mph. Many trees were broken off in the storm, including 4 of various sizes on my 2 acres. My cattle panel greenhouse had no problems standing up to the storm. Mine is only 2 panels long. Glad to see yours fared as well.
"People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do."
Thanks for the update! This is great to know....ours is a three panel and not covered yet (the covering from Leonards is sitting on the back porch waiting on us). I'm hoping to finish it this week and have wondered how it will handle spring storms. We rarely have much snow but hard rains and wind frequently. I have a lot of starts in by the stove to transplant and move to the hoop house to spend the next month or so before it's time to plant them in the garden.
"We're all just walking each other home." -Ram Dass
"Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder."-Rumi
“When it is understood that one loses joy and happiness in the attempt to possess them, the essence of natural farming will be realized. The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”
― Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution
I have been heavily inspired by your videos on plant systems, and am starting a market garden and food forest nursery in Maine. I recently built a 7 cattle panel greenhouse based on your build. I will be sharing it with a friend. Couldn't find a good source for locust while we wait for ours to grow. I used painted 2x4 and hemlock poles from thinning. The whole thing was built on uneven ground I didn't realize was there until I dug down through the ice and snow, and the overall structure involved some Jerry-rigging and play with placement and materials. We loaded it up with manure, bedding, and enough soil to start some seeds in cold frames and we will finish the beds as our growing space melts and thaws. We get winds roaring through a trough-like depression in the land, and the thing has been really solid. The shape and strength of the panels makes it ideal for wind and snow. Thanks for the updates, and want you to know you are reaching those who will go forth and perpetuate these systems. Thanks for all you do!
I built one from five cattle panels and built wooden rectangular center supports that I drilled a few holes and wired everything together, so sides are one panel high, sloped roof one panel, and a flat top, one panel. It is 16' long and 142" wide and the center of the wooden supports I could just walk through (I am 5'5"). Spouse at 6' hits the top flat panel. The ends have some cut up panel bits to fill in, and the far end had a hole for two 20" box fans. It was ground stapled along the long edges, and covered with 4 mil sheeting, held down with concrete blocks along the edge. This was not enough to hold with two milkhouse heaters against 25mph wind and 20f, so I had to string an inside layer of sheeting that didn't touch the outer. That gave me enough. That thing survived two years with snow of 8" and against 15f temps (and I built a windbreak for the issue with wind). Only thing is the sun would fry off the plastic at the joints so I had to replace plastic twice a year. Your version is a little smaller but it should hold fine. If you are not getting enough insulation you might have to do a dead air second layer string in. Your form looks fine for snow and wind shedding, but you might need an additional windbreak.
2016 I moved the frame set across the yard, made it longer, and wider, and turned it into a screen house covered with 30% shade cloth. It made the move by taking the ends off, unstapling then moving it like an inch worm, advancing the frames on the ground... Mine cost about the same and my door wasn't as fancy.
Thank you for sharing about yours. I will dig and see if I have pictures of mine while it was a greenhouse....
I have a two panel greenhouse and it did just fine when we got a sudden foot of wet snow, followed by a day of heavy rain (which collapsed the costo shed!). I added two horizontals that tie into the top of the end framing for the door and windows at either end of the greenhouse and offer support during extreme deflection conditions. Guess it did the trick! Great design, cheap, and very easy to build.
Mine is a 12 panel hoop house (10' x 50') with a door at each end. In its year and a half of life it has experienced up to 3" of snow and the usual cold front and thunderstorm winds. The structure is strong enough to support my entire weight (190 lbs) hanging from the panels overhead.
The doors are a double door design with 2 doors fitting into the same door frame so one door fits into the frame at any one time. A greenhouse film covered door hinges on the outside and a screen door hinges inward so the door can be either closed or screened for ventilation.
The hoop house is set up so I can easily remove the greenhouse film in the spring and replace it with 30% screen cloth for the summer, then change it back to greenhouse film in the fall. This should let me get over 8 years of life out of the film since it is only exposed to winter/spring levels of ultraviolet. It provides 7 degrees F of frost protection (has to get down to 25 degrees F outside before it frost inside) and, in addition to early and late vegetables, it let's me grow citrus and less cold hardy fig varieties that I can't grow outside. The screen cloth excludes cabbage worms, japanese beetles, and other pests. It also let's me grow heat sensitive vegetables through the summer that would normally be killed by the heat.
Anyone know how cattle panel hoop houses compare to more traditional metal tube hoop houses? I'm wondering which one is cheaper to build, and which one is strong and longer lived. I imagine the cattle panel is stronger, but more expensive? Thanks.