Monday, July 20, 2015

Our New Fish House/Banana House

Here are some pics of our latest pit-style tunnel greenhouse, which is around 80' long x 17' wide and has a 4' deep pit. The planting areas have been dug out an additional 2', so from the perspective of the plants, they have an 11.5' ceiling. It's still very much a work in progress, with a lot to get done before cold weather gets here. Eventually there will be 3 pools totaling around 12,000 gallons of water (I aim to finish getting them installed over the next few weeks).

Here's what the bananas looked like when I moved them in:
Below are a few pics from when I was building it. This time, instead of doing all of the digging by hand with a shovel and wheelbarrow as I had done with my pond and other tunnels, I rented a Bobcat. After the 1st day, I thought, "Eh, that's enough help, I'll just do the rest by hand." Which might have been an okay idea if I hadn't then decided to keep digging and make it twice as big as I had intended when I started. Here's what the trench looked like after using the Bobcat on the first day:
Then after some hand-digging:
Then after more hand-digging...
Special thanks to my nephew and Dad :)

Semi-pit tunnel greenhouse update - lots of figs and bananas

This semi-pit tunnel greenhouse is on its way to becoming just a fig house.  I've been moving all of the bananas out and into a new, larger greenhouse that I've just built.  There is still a strip of Dwarf Orinoco bananas remaining, though, and they've currently got 5 bunches of fruit hanging.

Kansas Fig Orchard update

Here are some pics of the banana and fig orchard from last September 4th-14th:

To protect the figs during the winter, I bent them over and mounded topsoil over them.  It didn't work very well, though: all of them died down to the ground except for the Hardy Chicago, which had about 18" of trunk survive.  I left a couple of Dwarf Orinoco bananas out to see what would happen, and they died all the way down to the corm, so they didn't even send out pups in the spring.

Thankfully, all of the figs have grown back.  The Hardy Chicago, Marseilles Black (MBVS), and Celeste are all carrying figlets that are on pace to start ripening in mid-September, and a couple of new additions (LSU Tiger and Vista, which is an especially vigorous strain of Violette de Bordeaux) are loaded with figs, too.  Bananas are a lost cause out there, so we're growing sweet corn in that spot instead.  Here's what the area looks like now, with the season's last planting of corn currently around 4" in height:

(the smaller/paler figs were just planted last week)