Dancing bears Farm poised for future as high tunnel garden use is refined
The newest tool in use at Dancing Bears Farm in St. Joseph is a high tunnel, also called a hoop house. “This is the future of locally-grown produce in northern climates,” said lawyer-turned-farmer Jim Degiovanni.
He and his wife, Mary, bought their property in the early 2000’s, and built a home for themselves and their youngest child, who was still at home.
They rather casually ran a bed and breakfast for about four years, never pushing too hard.
“We averaged five to six nights per year,” Degiovanni said.
He did not grow up a farmer, but when a friend got him started making maple syrup, things took off from there.
After taking a course at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, he built a brick oven near the house and took a selection of wood-fired bread products to the St. Joseph Farmers Market. It was a lucrative activity, but took huge amounts of time. See more in Jennie Zeitler’s Dairyland Peach story.
PHOTO: Jim Degiovanni shows off a tray of tomato seedlings ready to be planted in his high tunnel. The growing season is extended for plants in the tunnel, with added benefits of no blight and far fewer weeds. (Photo by Jennie Zeitler, Dairyland Peach)