Fayrehale Farm Melon House Prepared & Planted

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Back on February 4th, I wrote about our intent to have a melon house this season and to grow melons in Vermont!  We selected four varieties for our first attempt at melons.

The hoop house has been prepared and the started melon plants are planted. Straw will protect those that crawl and we have installed trellis for them to climb.  I think the fruit on the climbing portion may need a sling to support it as it hangs.  Saw this done in a Dupont Greenhouse at Longwood Gardens   (10th image down the page)

We should have nearly another 120 days with the hoop house if we close the back and cover the door in the fall.  The door can be opened on nice days.  The Shade cloth will probably come off in the fall as well.


The Melon House is at the left. The middle hoop house will be tomatoes, beans, chard and beets as we work with the wettest Vermont season in decades. The hoop house to the right is where we do our winter gardening, based on the work Eliot Coleman has done at his Four Season Farm in Maine.  We will put our carrots and parsnips in here now so they can stay in the ground and other summer vegetables that will come along quickly enough to be harvested and removed in time to plant winter greens. Probably some beans for nitrogen.

The Melon House and the Center Hoop house chickens in the winter.

All a learning process that we share as we go!  Happy Gardening!

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10 Responses to Fayrehale Farm Melon House Prepared & Planted

  1. Karen B July 3, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    What are your (theoretical) frost dates? I just read Coleman’s Four Season Harvest. I am at 48* latitude, and our microclimate is much colder than just 8 miles south. Our last frost is supposed to be May 21 and our first one September 11, but we very often get a frost a week into June, and a week back from the end of August, both preceded and followed by weeks of warmth.

    • James Trundy Verrill July 3, 2013 at 9:38 am #

      Basically the same here… though we have missed Sept the last couple years (we are in the CT river valley and close to but not on the river) and had our first in Oct. I watch the full moons in May and Sept & Oct. Weather has been so crazy. Late getting into the hoops as it was so cold and wet we hadn’t moved birds to summer pens.

  2. Karen B July 3, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    I just clicked on the photo to view it larger — what is the rebar spaceship in the foreground? 🙂

  3. Karen B July 3, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    Are your hoops just PVC, or are they reinforced with rebar inside? Thank you for your blog — it is very inspiring to me!

  4. James Trundy Verrill July 3, 2013 at 9:41 am #

    It is a rebar spaceship sculpture that our now deceased neighbor made some years ago. It originally had a ladder with it but some decided they needed that more than we do! It has been in various locations around the property and I keep planting or building pens! SO, this year it found a home in the garden and will have pole beans growing on it:)

  5. Susan July 3, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    I admire your continuous work to advance your micro-farm. It is fascinating to watch and very inspiring. I love that the hoop houses serve dual purposes. Do you test your soil or amend it in some way?

    There is so much Goodness in what you do at Fayrehale Farm!

  6. James Trundy Verrill July 3, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    Thanks Susan! Always special to be complimented by a Pro! We remove the top 4-5 inches of HOT bedding/chicken manure and pile it outside for a year. We then add some compost and turn the beds w/ a spade fork. This year we added a layer of topsoil mixed with Lobster Compost. “Made with chitin-rich lobster blended with peathumus and compost. The result is a dark-brown, complex soil that drains well and is ideal for conditioning beds and borders. Great for vegetable gardens.” http://www.coastofmaine.com/soils-quoddy.shtml

    We don’t test and are probably at a point where we should so we know just what is what.

  7. Mary Carmen July 8, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

    Looking good Jim, I know all so well it’s hard work but worth every ache in my back. You inspire me every day!

    • James Trundy Verrill July 8, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

      Thanks Mary!

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