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  • Matthew & Kata

About the Caterpillar Tunnels

This week Logan and the French interns did a good bit of pipe-bending - not mind-bending, pipe-bending. Why? One of our favourite discoveries over the last year has been the use of caterpillar tunnels. These are lightweight, low-cost but practical greenhouse structures. The beauty of catepillar tunnels is that they are very easy to put up and take down, so you can move them around the garden and relocate them within a few hours (once you have all the parts ready to go). We have discovered that we can re-use old polytunnel structures, re-bending the piping, and with a few bit of rope and bent steel, we can cheaply erect very serviceable tunnels. The main cost (and environmental impact) of caterpillar tunnels made this way is the cost of the polythene cover, but if we buy good quality polythene this can be re-used for years and years. We put up our first caterpillar tunnel in December last year. Since then we have had successive crops of corn salad, lettuce and now carrots. That is 3 crops in 11 months - a good use of space. In the summer we can swap the polythene for shade crops to provide the right conditions for sensitive crops.

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