Customer Testimonials - McClendon's Select
Challenge - Four-season production
Solution - Pro Solar Star High Tunnel
Size: 35' wide x 300' long
Application - Growing greens and tomatoes
Location - Peoria, AZ
McClendon's Select, a certified organic produce grower, must ensure that they have high enough yields to provide crops for two weekly farmers' markets and 43 Phoenix-area restaurants they serve. Says Bob McClendon, founder and president, "We grow more than 150 kinds of green produce, root vegetables, citrus, and dates on 25 acres of irrigated desert land and also make our own honey."
To keep up with demand and combat the increasingly erratic weather patterns, McClendon decided to purchase three Pro Solar Star High Tunnels, lining them up to create one 35' wide by 300' long structure. "We use our high tunnel to grow frost-sensitive greens in the winter months and heirloom tomatoes during the hot summer months," McClendon explains. The high tunnel safeguards plants from cold spells and also allows McClendon to add 40% shade cloth during the summer to protect the tomatoes.
Previously, McClendon had used frost cloth to protect greens grown in the open during the winter. However, the weather this year would have caused devastation to the crops. He explains, "Our temperature got down to 19°F the first week of February and we have had four hard freezes this winter. All of our arugula and baby lettuces were protected in the high tunnel. The same crops grown out in the open fields suffered from severe frost burn and were rendered unsaleable." McClendon continues, "Without the high tunnel, we would have been out of business after the last freeze. Our business is highly dependent on baby leaf greens."
For anyone considering purchasing a high tunnel, McClendon advises, "It will be the best investment you will ever make, as weather cycles become more extreme."