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RBR News | April 24, 2014

Posted in Ranch Report

Around the Ranch
As the end of April draws near we have begun running from project to project. The budding willows and aspens are a reminder of just how close we are to the summer season. Earlier today, the first new goslings of the season were spotted in the front pasture! Transition time is here.

Even though the days are quickly warming up, our plants still need protection from the cold nights and swinging temperatures. For this reason, we are thrilled to have completed the construction of a new season extension structure—the “Rolling Thunder” hoophouse. This hoophouse has wheels mounted to a track, so that it can be moved to multiple desired growing areas.

Mobile hoophouses are an easy way to avoid degrading hoophouse soil fertility. A hoophouse is harder to keep fertile than outside ground because it is not exposed to natural elements and conditions. Prior to this idea, farmers would deplete their soil by repeatedly planting the same crops in the ground—resulting in serious nutrient deficiencies that even compost couldn’t correct.  To regenerate the soil fertility, farmers would have to remove and replace 12-16’’ of soil in the hoophouse—which was incredibly labor intensive. With a mobile hoophouse the soil is exposed to rain, wind, snow, direct sunlight, and subzero temperatures for part of the year. Second, because the hoophouse can live in two places, we can include cover crops in our crop rotation that regenerates soil fertility without sacrificing production. Finally, this means that we can have produce earlier in the spring and later in the fall! We can’t wait to get this hoophouse pumping with produce.

Available Products
RBR’s pastured hens are still laying lots of fresh eggs! Pasture-raised, Animal Welfare Approved, non-GMO, chicken and duck eggs are available for purchase at the Ranch Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.

-Christian La Bar, Agriculture Assistant


Join us for Farm Tours Monday – Friday at 11AM.  For questions about Rock Bottom Ranch please email Jason at jsmith@aspennature.org.