Saturday, March 24, 2012

Starlight Gardens Workshop on Greenhouse & High Tunnel Growing

On the first day of spring, CT NOFA hosted an on-farm workshop in Durham, Connecticut with David Zemeslky, owner of Starlight Gardens.  David grows greens through the winter in his 6 high tunnels.
 David shows the group his crop rows, and explained how he fertilizes (Starlight Gardens is certified organic), how he prepares the beds for tomatoes, pest control and adjusting for changing climate.

 These are David's carrots, which he planted in November and left covered for the winter!

 Low tunnels are an affordable, fairly easy method for season extension even for small growers.

More low tunnels! The black bags are filled with compost instead of sand, he uses them to weight down the plastic.  When they break he just leaves the compost on the beds!

 This is a large high tunnel that the National Resources Conservation Service helped fund.  David explained that this greenouse seemed especially successful because of its east-west orientation, allowing it to get more sunlight in the winter.

 John Bartok, Professor Emeritus from the UConn Agricultural Extension discussed greenhouse design and construction.  He told the group about new technologies being developed to control greenhouse and hoop house temperatures and to irrigate these spaces.  He provided guidance on how to ventilate greenhouses as well.

David's organic mole and vole control enjoyed all of the visitors. He was a very friendly addition to the workshop.

After the workshop beginning farmers (those with 10 years of experience or fewer) had lunch together to talk more to David and Ty Zemelsky and discuss challenges in farming.  David shared his lovely greens for the salad at lunch!

For more information on our workshop check out Ty Zemelsky's post about our workshop!

Have a wonderful weekend! Happy planting!


  1. This was a great workshop, saw how David grows through the winter, learned some very useful information and met some really nice people! It was very inspiring, so glad I attended!

  2. Energy reflected from the earth's surface has a different frequency than solar energy because some of the energy is absorbed by the surfaces it reflects off. Can energy frequencies in the atmosphere be measured to indicate how much of the energy in the troposphere is solar and how much is reflected back from GHGs?

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