Erica Fernbach and Karl Brandstaetter, Seven Oaks Farm
Caterpillar Tunnels for Organic Production
Grant Award: $8,000
Thanks to their existing caterpillar tunnels, Erica and Karl were able to provide peppers, tomatoes and lettuce during shoulder seasons when other farms’ production had dropped off. During their first season of growing and selling at farmers markets, demand for Seven Oaks’ produce outpaced their supply at all of their outlets.
For 2022 they aim to scale up by about 15% mainly through increased winter production. To add more covered growing space, they will purchase and install two 100’ x 16’ gothic caterpillar tunnels with zipper doors. Having more caterpillar tunnels will not only provide steadier, year-round income, it will also allow them to rotate crops more effectively resulting in better soil health and disease and pest control.