Customer Testimonials - Forest Glen Farm
Challenge - Short growing season
Solution - Two GrowSpan High Tunnels
Size - 20' wide x 24' long, 30' wide x 48' long
Application - Growing for the area's finest restaurant
Location - Frazee, MN
Ever since his military tour in Vietnam, Dallas Flynn has had an affinity towards growing. When the mother of his children passed away and he remarried a woman who also loved to garden, the Flynns decided to purchase a farm so the kids would have a place to play. In 2006, he and his wife built a home on the property along with some garden plots, and growing became part of their everyday life. After gardening for some time at Forest Glen Farm, the Flynns knew the 90-day growing season of Northern Minnesota was not long enough to be growing in a garden exposed to the elements. The University of Minnesota saw an opportunity to research high tunnel growth and gave the Flynns a 20' wide by 24' long GrowSpan High Tunnel from FarmTek for their farm.
When the Flynns noticed their growing season was extended from 90 days to 150 days, they fell in love with their high tunnel and decided it was time for another. They wrote a grant to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and designed a 30' wide by 48' long GrowSpan High Tunnel that incorporated solar energy to keep the soil warm. The Flynns pump 200 to 250°F air into the soil to warm the growing area without overheating the crops. On a clear day where the outside temperature is well below freezing in Frazee, the temperature inside the high tunnel can be more than 80°F.
Since the second high tunnel was built, life has changed on Forest Glen Farm. The Flynns no longer grow simply to provide the family with fresh vegetables and to have something to sell at the farmers' market. Now, they are a large supplier for a local high-end restaurant due to their extended growing season, the large variety of crops they can produce and the increased size of their harvests. Explains Dallas, "We are at least two months ahead of all the other growers around here. Normally tomatoes are ready in August, but we are harvesting them in June. Also, when we used to garden outside we would pick about five to ten pounds of decent tomatoes from our plants, but now we are getting up to fifty pounds in the high tunnel with no blemishes at all."
Although the first high tunnel was purchased for the Flynns, when it was time to get another one they knew they would be shopping with FarmTek. Dallas says, "You can't beat the customer service from this company or the quality of their materials. I have never been shorted on parts. If anything, I always get a few extra." Dallas is so impressed with his GrowSpan High Tunnels, he can't help but talk about them with his friends. "Whenever I have old FarmTek catalogs lying around the house, I hand them out to people. I preach this company!" He continues, "Everyone at FarmTek has been good to me. I am a true believer in what they do."