Hawthorne Valley Farm (HVF) is adding four greenhouses to its vegetable growing operation to meet the demand for fresh, Biodynamic® produce. Two greenhouses were installed in late October, with an additional two being put up this November by HVF’s farm team. The purchase of these greenhouses was made possible through the generosity of donors.
One of the greenhouses will be used as a permanent propagation house for both summer and winter crops. The remaining three greenhouses will house summer crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and basil. The added capacity will enable the Farm to increase production and round out labor needs throughout the year.
“Any inside growing space is considered our most valuable real-estate on the Farm,” says Todd Newlin, Field Vegetable and CSA Manager. “With the added elements of a protective layer, we can start planting earlier and increase our yields while reducing our row footage. The rise in demand that we have seen for locally-grown food as a result of the pandemic has made this project all the more timely as we will be able to provide our customers here in the county and at our greenmarket stands in New York City with more even more fresh, organic, Biodynamic produce.”
The two already-constructed greenhouses stand in the Farm’s Corner Garden, right along Route 21C. For the winter months, the Farm has generously donated use of the spaces to Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School in order to provide more space for them to continue offering in-person learning as the weather grows colder.
“We are so grateful that the Farm has opened up the new greenhouses to help the School during this unique year,” says Linda Park, Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School’s Community Relations Manager & Lower School Admissions. “The importance of in-person learning for our students—especially in the younger grades—cannot be overstated, and we appreciate being part of a larger organization that has supported our efforts and provided the space we need to operate on campus safely during the pandemic.”
The site work and construction of the remaining two greenhouses will begin later this month. Newlin says the farm team will build the houses themselves as an educational opportunity for the Farm’s apprentices.