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Discussion forum for the various methods and structures used for getting an early start on your growing season, extending it for several weeks or even year 'round.

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Old February 6, 2016   #46
Raiquee
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Cole, go to rimol.com
You can get a 22x48 which includes frame (including endwall brackets, and two layers of plastic (plus inflation fan) and all hardware for $3,300.

As far as people wanting to know about grants:

There is a USDA NRCS (natural resources conservation service) office in every state. Some states have one in every county
The EQIP program pays for high tunnels. You have to be an ag producer OR show that you have the potential to become an ag producer. Also the FSA (farm service agency of the USDA) has to have your land in their mapping system and assign you a farm and tract number. This step is easy.

So, if you are in a suburb and a hobbyist, you are out of luck.

This year's high tunnel program in my state pays $2.91/sqft if you are a regular farmer. It pays $3.50/sqft if you are a beginning farmer (less than 10 years reporting farm income on taxes) or are a historically under-served individual (minority)/veteran of war.

So a 22 x 48 would pay you $3,072 if you are a regular farmer, or $3,696 if you are new or under-served/vet. And it is flat rate, meaning you get all the money and keep anything above your cost of material. But you must install the size you apply for.

I am an Agricultural planner, so I swim through these details all day long
Great info. How do you "show" you have the potential of being an ag farmer? I would ideally like to cut hours at work and back fill it with selling plants, seeds and produce. I'm running a test of doing all three this year. But on a much smaller scale.

Last edited by Raiquee; February 6, 2016 at 10:25 AM.
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Old February 6, 2016   #47
Ricky Shaw
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What a good program to foster a smaller more local approach to produce distribution.
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Old February 6, 2016   #48
PureHarvest
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Great info. How do you "show" you have the potential of being an ag farmer? I would ideally like to cut hours at work and back fill it with selling plants, seeds and produce. I'm running a test of doing all three this year. But on a much smaller scale.
Raiquee, if you can show a planner that you have skin in the game financially, I think that would work. My question when I started was, if you are a beginning farmer, you are not an ag producer yet, so how can we have a payment rate for beginning farmers? They told me that is why you just have to have the potential to farm. A homeowner in the burbs cant get a farm and tract number assigned to them, so that weeds out a lot of people with "the potential" to farm.

Example: you have purchased materials or things that show you are doing something other than growing a personal garden or raising plants for your own use. You have FSA assign you a farm and tract number. You have the potential to farm. Note: you don't need to have a corporation/LLC or use a farm name. In fact, the paperwork is much easier if you go that route.

I will ask for clarification on Monday.

When I first started this job, I asked if bee keepers were ag producers, and they said if the person collected and sold honey, YES.
NO talk of scale either.
I will get more details and get back to you.
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Old February 6, 2016   #49
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What a good program to foster a smaller more local approach to produce distribution.
Ricky, I think you would be asking about stuff that other programs within the USDA agencies do. Each state has a USDA Service center that can better answer that question.

NRCS is about conserving soil and natural resources. There aren't any programs NRCS does that addresses your specific question. They would come in more to assist the production side of the equation, not the marketing/distribution.

However, the high tunnel program was started to foster the locally grown movement by encouraging season extension and the ability to provide local products longer into the season.
Other than that, I cant think of anything that would stretch into your request.

Hope that makes sense.
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Old February 6, 2016   #50
Mac-77
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My ag office told me the grant is only available to farmers tilling the soil not raised bed and or container growers like me.
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Old February 6, 2016   #51
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My ag office told me the grant is only available to farmers tilling the soil not raised bed and or container growers like me.
That's stupid.
What about the no till farmers can Texas be that far behind?

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Old February 6, 2016   #52
Ricky Shaw
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Thank you for that PureHarvest. I was meaning it more as a comment, as opposed to a question. I think the programs are worthwhile and support the idea of a more local approach. No grant for me, I have a small suburban lot and it sounds like too much work.
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Old February 6, 2016   #53
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My ag office told me the grant is only available to farmers tilling the soil not raised bed and or container growers like me.
Tilling is not required, but they do not want you growing container plants for re-sale. I think any raised bed would be fine.
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Old February 6, 2016   #54
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We got a little more done today.
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Old February 6, 2016   #55
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A thing of beauty.

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Old February 6, 2016   #56
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My ag office told me the grant is only available to farmers tilling the soil not raised bed and or container growers like me.
That is not correct. You can grow in a raised bed as long as it does not have sides taller than one foot.
No pots or benches is correct. They don't want people raising potted plants for sale.

Here is the practice standard. It is not gospel though (when you read this you might feel overwhelmed with the rules. nobody is doing all the things in this standard like uncovering the tunnel every winter). Basically you build the size you say you are going to, buy it from an approved supplier, and grow a crop in it. The rest is typical government overkill in writing rules and standards.
https://efotg.sc.egov.usda.gov/refer...3_15_Final.pdf

Also, the lifespan for the HT program is 4 years. So after that, you no longer have to follow any NRCS guidelines and it is your to do with what you want.
And depending on your planner and your relationship with them, exceptions are made for things depending on how you document or present your ideas to them.
Such as showing it is cheaper to grow a row of 5-gallon bags, than building a 72' long raised bed, and emphasizing that you are turning a crop, not growing plants for resale.

Last edited by PureHarvest; February 6, 2016 at 09:15 PM.
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Old February 6, 2016   #57
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It's looking nice!
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Old February 6, 2016   #58
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thanks guys
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Old February 6, 2016   #59
PureHarvest
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Cole, will you do any truss bracing?
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Old February 6, 2016   #60
PureHarvest
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Like this? Just to deal with wind load:

truss.jpg
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