Winter officially ends in just a few weeks, but at the Yale Farm, we're still recovering from all the recent snowstorms. Winter life on the farm is dynamic, even if we're looking forward to the gradual transition to spring. Former Yale Sustainable Food Project employee Anastatia Curley wrote about our covered hoop houses last year. These take advantage of the Yale Farm's sunlight to effectively move the plastic-covered square footage of each house one and a half time zones to the south—letting us grow summer greens in winter, the natural way.
There's a lot of work to do, even though we're not harvesting greens every week, or weeding beds. On a recent workday, we peeked into the hoop houses just to check in (my glasses fogged instantly from the warmth!), then headed to the Reemay-covered rows of spinach and lettuce in quads one, two, and four of the farm. Reemay is a semi-transparent polyester fabric, also called just "row cover," that is placed over a single bed to let in enough light for a plant to survive while keeping the covered area warm and resisting excess moisture. It's all about trapping in air that will get heated under the sun—think of it as a miniature hoop house spanning just one bed.