Our hoop house raised beds are in! Unheated hoop house greenhouses, also called high tunnels, are an affordable low-tech way to garden year-round. Over three workshops and a series of volunteer days, we built 30 4x8x1 foot raised beds in our new 36x90 foot hoop house for accessibility and higher yields.
Students worked with volunteers and staff to build the raised beds, using a power saw and power drills. The workshops provided an educational opportunity for 29 teens on the autism spectrum ages 13-18; 8 staff, and 9 community volunteers participating in the three day-long raised bed building workshops, and a chance for parents and volunteers to support students on the autism spectrum.
Learning 4 Life Farm Board President Dr. Rick Baltisberger led the teams of students, staff and volunteers in building the raised beds by his own simple design using 2x6 boards, 4x4's and 1x4's and deck screws. Students had a great time trying out the power saw and mastering the use of power drills. Donated materials from MAC Construction, topsoil and hardwood mulch donated by Kurtz Bros, the loan of a front loader from Fackler Kubota Tractor, and a grant from Autism Speaks made it all possible.
Students and volunteers started seeding the beds as soon as they were filled with soil, and by late October we had radishes, lettuces and more growing nicely, with harvests throughout the winter and spring vegetables and flowers ready to get an early start in Spring 2022.
Check out the great video below for more action and details from our volunteers: