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Polytunnels With Snow

I’m not a great lover of Youtube but one person I do follow on there is Richard Perkins who farms in Sweden. He’s into regenerative agriculture, that’s farming that actually improves the land and the environment. Not just sustainable but farming that manages and improves the land.

I’d like to share his latest video with you. It’s about polytunnels in a climate where deep snow and long dark winters are the norm. Like me, he’s a lover of First Tunnels Polytunnels – great quality at a good price – although his tunnel’s are a wee bit bigger than mine!

polytunnel under snow

Polytunnel in the Swedish winter with a metre of snow.

Our Polytunnel Concern

My main concern when I got my polytunnel was the weather, we get ridiculously high winds here, but those fears have proved to be groundless. My tunnel just shakes off the worst that the Welsh weather can throw at it.

One thing my polytunnel hasn’t had to cope with is a high snow load but after watching the video I’m not concerned even if we get a metre one day. Pretty unlikely where we are but never rule anything out with British weather. We even had a good summer one year!

It can get below minus 30ºC in the Swedish winter – that’s well below the temperature of a freezer. He keeps, I think, about a thousand laying hens which just wouldn’t survive those conditions in their normal coop. Hens are surprisingly hardy with their feather duvets but not that hardy.

So in winter he moves his laying hens into the polytunnel on deep litter. It’s amazing how warm the body heat of the hens and their deep litter composting keeps the tunnel. Come the spring the hens can go back out onto pasture and he’s got a load of compost to use on his farm and a weed-free polytunnel with well – and naturally – fertilised soil to grow crops in.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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