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Giant Portable Greenhouse Protects Fruit Trees From Freezing
Maurice Vandenborre, Aylmer, Ontario, recently sent FARM SHOW photos of his home-built portable greenhouse that he uses to protect fruit trees from wind and cold.
Vandenborre grows about 60 acres of dwarf apple trees and 3 acres of peach trees, as well as raspberries and sweet cherries. His "green-house on wheels" is 240 ft. long and 40 ft. wide and consists of a steel frame covered by a double layer of fiberglass and plastic. He uses a pair of tractors, one at each corner, to tow it in place over his rows of trees.
During winter months he parks the green-house over his peaches to minimize the se-verity of winter. Toward the end of May he moves it over raspberries to protect them from wind and rain. After raspberry harvest he moves it in place over a grove of Granny Smith apples.
"It makes it possible for our peach trees to blossom two to three weeks earlier than normal and ripen sooner in the summer. I haven't missed a crop of peaches since I built it five years ago," says Vandenborre. "Our climate normally doesn't allow Granny Smith apples to reach full maturity but with the greenhouse we're able to grow them.
"Portable greenhouses are common in Belgium where they're used mainly to protect vegetable crops. I built my first portable greenhouse in 1983 out of wood and a double layer of plastic and still use it. It's 140 ft. long and 40 ft. wide and is built in two sections so that the roof and sides move separately. I had problems with the plastic ripping so I switched to using mostly fiberglass on my second model."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Maurice Vandenborre, Rt. 2, Aylmer, Ontario, Canada N5H 2R2 (ph 519 773-2832).

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1998 - Volume #22, Issue #5