Meet Tracy & Dan Painter of Painter Produce near Henry & Scottsbluff, NE!
What Painter Produce offers:
- Fresh herbs
- Variety of dried beans including black and kidney beans
- Chicken eggs
- Value added goodies like pet treats, pasta sauce, picante, & dehydrated vegetables!
"We are believers in growing what you like to eat."
Having grown up in the Midwest, Tracy & Dan know what it tastes like to enjoy meat & homegrown produce at the end of a hard day. As a vegetable farm, they grow everything but the meat for the dinner table. With Dan as the master of the garden and Tracy the master of logistics taking the products to market, making deliveries, preservig vegetables, & helping with the harvest. What's even more incredible is that they have product available nearly YEAR ROUND! That isn't easy in the climate of north-western Nebraska - a Gardening Zone 4 - with very cold winters and very short time between last frost in the spring and first frost in autumn. So, how do they keep fresh vegetables on the table for most of the year?
Fresh Nebraska-Grown Vegetables in December - Using Hoop Houses to Extend the Growing Season
Winter in Nebraska is known for its bitterness, but as harsh winds blow and snow falls to the ground, the cabbage and kale at Painter Produce are thriving; protected from the elements in a hoop house. A hoop house, also known as a high tunnel, is a valuable tool for not only vegetable farmers, but also backyard gardeners. A hoop house is made of a steel or wood frame covered in heavy plastic that acts as a passive solar greenhouse (no propane or natural gas needed!) where plants are still able to grow in the ground, but are sheltered from severe weather. Without an external heat source or artificial lighting that you see in a greenhouse, hoop houses are more affordable and easier to operate.
Hoop houses are like moving your garden hundreds of miles south of where you live, allowing farmers & gardeners to plant early in the spring or keep plants alive deep into winter. Painter Produce built their first hoop house in 2012 to produce early tomatoes and peppers for customers. They now have built 4 hoop houses, one of which was destroyed in a severe hail storm, and have expanded the variety of vegetables they grow in the structures to include zucchini, carrots, and cabbage. Hoop houses protect against harsh winds, downpours of rain, and freezing snow. But since the plants in a hoop house don't enjoy fresh rain, irrigation must be set up in advance. Although this adds a bit of work, it is also allows the farmer to choose when to water the crop, which can help prevent disease and increase quality & yield. Hoop houses vary in size and some even have side walls that can be opened to allow for more ventilation during the summer months.
Interesting in learning more?
- How to Build a Hoop House by Modern Farmer
- 12 Hoop House Plans
- DIY Bean Tunnel or Hoop House by Homesteading Family
Below are pictures of one of the Painter Produce hoop houses and a beautiful basket of produce from their farm stand.
Where to find Painter Produce:
- On-farm Farm Stand - located at 330 S.A. Road, Henry, NE. (Take Henry Oil Road north out of Henry and follow the signs.) . Check their website for current hours.
- By delivery to nearby communities - contact Painter Produce to learn more.
- Order whole or half grass-fed, grain-finished beef - learn more here!
- Contact information