I ran into this interesting article:
Not sure if these are greenhouses (by today’s standards) or high tunnels. The notion of getting fruit fifty days early is amazing… I am sure I will try this, after sending the kids to college and moving to a new house with enough land… just 10-15 years from now …
Sometimes when you send kids to college is when you are running out of your capital
My greenhouse fruit cost several times as much to produce as I can sell it for. But then I’m not a good marketer and people around here are mostly poor/frugal. I used to sell $500-1000 per yr in fruit. Last yr I averaged that much a week in fig plant sales. With peak sales at 3K per week.
Wow… That’s decent retirement income… Good for you! These sales are mostly online, right?
Yes mostly selling on ebay. There are a lot of sellers coming onboard. So don’t plan on following anyone into that business. This will likely be my last yr selling. I’m too old to work this hard. Already planning on where my operation goes from here.
Don’t worry my friend, I am not planning on competing with you , I was just happy for your success…
Desmond Layne put out a video with pictures of his trips to China several years ago. It was interesting to see the hoop houses with peaches growing in them.
The most obvious advantages are there is not frost risk to the blooms, no minimum winter risk to the peaches, and better prices (as the article mentions).
The biggest disadvantage it seems to me is that they system not only requires more initial cost, but a substantial amount of labor vs. raising trees outside. Wages are low in China, so labor probably isn’t near the disadvantage as it would be here.
I’m not aware of anyone growing peaches commercially inside here in the U.S., but maybe there are a few people doing it somewhere in the U.S.
This article (or another that I read on the same topic) mentioned the high premium prices (up to 5x normal price) that they can sell the peaches at off season, may be that is what allows them to recoup the high production costs…
I hear that someone in my area is growing cherry in high tunnels. Not sure what kind of ROI it would being but it would be nice to dodge late frosts with them.
I remembered now, I know an orchard in PA that also grows cherry under high tunnels. They seem to be successful, but I think their objective is to protect them from rain around harvest time, which can devastate the crop due to fruit cracking. There cherries ripen in the standard season, so I don’t think they are using the tunnels for warming the trees in the spring/late winter.