Season Extension: Hanley Caterpillar Tunnels

The first area to discuss regarding season extension are those structures that are simple enough to disassemble and relocate to another spot-primarily referring to Hanley Caterpillar Tunnels.

The real lure of these buildings is their low cost and simplicity to move. Generally the area is prepared in advance and then the tunnel is moved over the area when the planting is to be done.

Since the original design specified 6′ hoop spacing, the intent was always to remove the cover before risk of heavier snow fall. More often now, growers are going to 5′ spacing (and sometimes 4′) to allow the covers to remain on longer or even permanently.

By having a smaller hoop spacing, it allows the cover to stay on permanently, which allows for a much earlier start in the spring.

The key to the concept of the hanley working is in the rope.

  • The back and forth pattern of the rope resembles the way a person would lace up a boot.
  • Typically there is a spring loaded clip at the base where the rope passes through.
  • Once the rope is fully installed, it is important to tighten it through three passes from end to end.
  • If the rope is not tight enough, the wind will create wiggle and movement sideways.
  • When the plastic is tight enough, it also allows the grower to slide the plastic up the hoop to allow ventilation.

Generally the plastic is about 25′ longer then the tunnel.
This allows the installer to bunch up (pig tail style) the extra poly at both ends between a pair of posts.
It is important to get the plastic as tight as possible lengthwise first.
There must also be a rope from the top of the last hoop to the tie off post.

There are a couple of challenges to consider with the hanley tunnels.

  1. One of these challenges is to create a proper entrance. Typically entrance is achieved by slightly lifting the plastic and ducking underneath.
  2. The other are of challenge is the low shoulder height of the structure. This restricts the use to a couple rows of taller items in the middle and a couple rows of shorter plants along the side. The width of the tunnel does lend itself to three regular size beds.

Once you have learned about the nuances of the hanley tunnels, and asked any questions that come up, you will be better prepared to have these efficient season extenders work for you and your application.

Feel free to look at our Hanley Application page for more information and photos, and give us a call with anything else you require.

We are pleased to have many happy customers these structures are working for, and look forward to you being next!

Check out our new book if you want to know more “So You Want to Buy a Greenhouse…Your Guide to Planning a Greenhouse Purchase”

Norm shared some nostalgia after Coffee Time with Norm this week. Check out his story here:

Organic Greenhouses/Shelters-uses and benefits

As we recognize and celebrate Organic Week 2020, we want to share a popular article from our website. We thank the organic farmers that go the extra mile for land stewardship and are proud to partner with so many of them. We will be sharing and highlighting some key organic related articles all week. We hope you find them helpful!

There are many benefits to having a greenhouse structure for organic growing and housing. They are often used a season extender for protecting crops from the elements, blight, and fungus. Since Organic growers and farmers do not use pesticides, this type of protection is often required for some of the more sensitive crops.smaller high profile

The structures are easy to move to allow the expansion of the growing area.These structures can easily help to give you the opportunity to grow more crops in a limited area. What many of our customers also do, particularly with Hanley Caterpillar structures, is start growing the early crops under the protection of the structure, and as the crop is stable enough, they move the structure to be able to start the next planting.

Knight Hanley Structure

Our structures are also used for organic livestock raising to ensure the animals have a healthy, safe and protected environment out of the elements. They are versatile structures, and only require the changing of clear to white plastic for the various uses. The environment allows the animals to have sunlight, but still get the shade they require.

Goats5

The combination of the double layer of plastic, roll up sides, and inflator fan, on both the greenhouse and livestock shelters, helps to reduce condensation and keep the structure ventilated. We are excited to be working on a solar powered fan option for those off grid customers or if the structure is out in the field away from electricity as we know many of our organic growers and farmers are in these situations.

Important Update from MSS

4/6/20 With the pandemic being such a rapidly evolving situation, Multi Shelter Solutions is being vigilant for new and changing requirements. Please stay tuned to our website and facebook pages for the most up to date information on restrictions and closures. Please read the following information carefully and fully. Thank you.

We hope everyone reading this is keeping safe at home. Our admiration goes out to front line workers who are allowing our society to keep functioning as best as it can. Our hearts go out to all those affected, individually, or from those close to you, by this situation.

Due to the new restrictions put out by the Ontario government, we can no longer deliver some of our products to some locations. Please see a full list below. This is subject to change as the government changes their policies and the pandemic evolves.

We are grateful to still be considered an essential business for some applications and as such are able to stay open and producing some structures. We are taking our part of the responsibility to curtail this virus very seriously. The health and well being of our employees, customers and community at large continues to be our highest priority. We have modified our procedures to reflect the current government regulations and our commitments.

We are here to discuss your requirements and help you in planning your project.
Please note that the only restriction is on some deliveries and pick ups which are classified as non essential. We are in the middle of our busiest time, and with added protocol and procedures, it is best to email in any non-urgent requests, and we will get back to you within the week. You are still able to phone, but please keep in mind, phoning will not allow you to “jump the queue” any faster than email, and could result in more delays for everyone.

ALLOWED

Deliveries of all greenhouses to all properties
Deliveries of livestock shelters and storage buildings to farms
Deliveries of any shelter to an essential business which is open
Discussion of all structures and your projects via phone/email/video conferencing

NOT ALLOWED

Deliveries of garages, boat and R.V. shelters, swimming pool enclosures, and other non agricultural/non essential structures to non agricultural land is prohibited
Deliveries of any product to a facility or property that is closed is prohibited
Shop visits/Pick ups/Site visits are not allowed

Please note that if we are not allowed to deliver, under the “stay at home” regulation, you are not allowed to pick up either.

We understand the inconvenience this may be causing, but emphasize this is for the greater good, and the sooner we are able to follow the precautions and safety rules set in place, the sooner we can come through this and resume all deliveries and visits again. The more we work together, the quicker we will come out of this.

We are grateful that our greenhouses and agricultural buildings are part of the food supply chain and therefore were are considered an essential service. We are grateful to all those who have entrusted us with their shelter and greenhouse requirements. We look forward to working with you on all your 2020 projects. Stay safe, connected and healthy.

~Norm and the Multi Shelters Team