Mother Nature needs to be tamed for raspberries to thrive in the north country.
And for Gail C. Millard, a high tunnel with temperature-controlled curtains built in the summer of 2012 has gotten that job done at Little m Farm off County Road 64 in the town of Watertown. The 66-year-old, who invested about $15,000 to build the tunnel, said he expects the harvest of its three rows of raspberry canes to be excellent this fall.
Since July, he has picked enough raspberries to fill 15 to 50 half-pints each week. Half-pints are sold for $3 apiece at his store, which also offers an array of fresh vegetables and fruits grown on the farm. Most of the raspberries are sold to members of a Burrville-based community-supported agriculture program called Miracles by the Acre.
Years of planning the tunnel have finally paid off for Mr. Millard, who said it has safeguarded the plants from the elements and tempered hot summer weather to create ideal growing conditions.
“We’re not harvesting a lot yet, but it keeps up with the product I’m selling right now,” said Mr. Millard, who operates the business with his wife, Ann M. “There was a steep learning curve, and it took a lot of work to do this.” [Read more...]