Apr 23, 2012Haygrove winner plans to ‘retire’ to farming life
As the winner of a 25-by-100-foot Haygrove Gothic tunnel in the 2012 Great American Giveaway, Kermit Cutter of Newfield, N.Y., said he plans to use it to get more into farming.
For the past four decades, Cutter has been a building contractor. He’s also been raising beef cattle for 25 years, and growing vegetables for the last 10. He has slowly added crops over the years, and plans on farming as his retirement from building, he said.
Cutter’s wife, Alison Wiley, has been growing cut flowers for more than 25 years as Littleflowers Farms. She already has a 30-by-100-foot greenhouse, a 17- by 96-foot greenhouse and a 30- by 100-foot hoop house. They’ve been wanting to add another tunnel for a while. When they won the Haygrove, they thought that 100 feet would not be enough, Cutter said. They immediately decided to purchase an additional Gothic tunnel as well.
“We’ve been joking that we had to have his-and-hers tunnels,” Cutter said. “That’s kind of true, but I know we’ll actually spread things out a bit. Alison has some sunflowers she’ll probably put in mine.”
Cutter said they haven’t put the tunnels up yet. He knows it will be a lot of work, but said it will be worth it when they are done.
Cutter grows tomatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, pumpkins, melons and squash on 3 acres. He recently put in half an acre of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. He plans to grow peppers and tomatoes in early spring under the Haygrove, and run a late crop of spinach and lettuce in the fall.
“I’ve found you have so much more control under the plastic,” he said. “You’re not as dependent on the rain and other things.”
Cutter said he plans to sell his produce at local farmers’ markets, and will eventually open a farm stand.