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Bodger

Its not natural!

But then again, neither is flying them in thousands of miles.

Strawberries and polytunnels?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-32799489

Its a long time since people, as in everyone ate seasonal fruit and veg. These days, the populace expects to see all sorts of stuff on the supermarket shelves and at all times of the year. Polytunnels? Love them or hate them?

Having seen hundreds of acres under plastic on our visits to Herefordshire, as far as I'm concerned, its definitely a case of NIMBY. While I might admire the farmers enterprise, I certainly don't appreciate the view. What if anything are your views on the masses of polytunnels? scratch
Mistress Rose

By using polytunnels farmers are able to extend the growing season without necessarily using artificial heating and are less dependant on good weather. Unfortunately to get enough income to keep a farm going, that is often only the way to manage. It is far better to get early strawberries from the UK from a polytunnel IMO than flying them in from Spain. Of course it might be better if we only ate them in the years the weather was good, so we really appreciate them, and then only at 'strawberry time' but that wouldn't help the farmer with the spoilt crop worth nothing. This isn't new. The gardener at a local big house to us prided himeself on having strawberries ready at Easter, and this was expected by his employer. He had to use a heated greenhouse though.
dpack

i prefer "petrol"being turned into a plastic greenhouse than into airmiles for berries or leaves.

there are good and bad points to growing in shelter but an extended season,greater yields,lower pesticide use(contained predators is ace ),no airmiles etc etc sort of outbid the "sea of plastic looks wrong" issue.

combined with hydroponic feeding and water control a tunnel can grow food on very very poor land ,it permits a car park or lead mine spoilheap for extreme examples to become a sheltered fertile field a thousand miles further south.
gregotyn

I have no problem with poly tunnels, regardless of quantity, except in areas designated as 'of outstanding natural beauty'. On commercial farms raising crops and making use of the extended season can, particularly on smaller farms, give a profit rather than a break even/loss situation. Poly tunnels will do so many jobs such as potato chitting and seed sowing for establishment of plants for planting out later, (eg brassicas) and then grow crops during the summer and extending into late autumn.
On the other tack of imports being reduced I have posted before that roses from Kenya have a smaller carbon footprint for valentine's day that those home grown, due to there being no un-natural treatments to persuade the roses that it is winter and then spring and then summer using artificial cold and heat to get UK roses for the UK market; additionally they are employing Kenyans at home, with housing and gardens provided for them to be able to grow for themselves, which in theory stops so many wanting to leave their homeland for other countries-another story!
Mutton

Well, to me the daft thing is having an out of season flower for Valentine's day at all. I can see the maths of roses from Kenya being advantageous to UK grown ones, but I object on environmental grounds to the whole cut flowers flown in from around the world all year at all.
Also, I remember seeing a documentary some years back on the cut flower trade in South America - and how really dangerous pesticides were being used in the polytunnels in South America, while workers were just working in another part of the tunnel and the resulting health problems.
Economic and social grounds, yes, flowers as a crop have merit. Environmental - no. As in here we are on a planet with limited resources and we are flying flowers around the place?

Which is rather off topic on the polytunnel question. To me it depends on how many. Also, is a field of polytunnels worse to look at than eye-searing yellow rapeseed in flower? I guess they are there all year, not just for a couple of weeks. So I think my answer is OK in moderation, but definitely not in an AONB or in the view from one. Think AGLV should also come into consideration.
Other "crop" changes include solar PV in fields - they go from green to shiny black. Also cloches - you get white stripes across the field.

Depending on the land form, siting such things where they are least visible is preferable - as in behind woodland, in a dip, etc. Note I am NOT saying in the shade of a woodland!
Mistress Rose

We are getting more solar farms round here than greenhouses and polytunnels, but all are bette than more houses, and if they allow the farmer to keep on farming in the long term they are a definate plus.
VM

Think I read a similar article about lakes drying up in Kenya because of rose growing...

Cut flower trade a bit bonkers - like all year round strawberries and bagged salads using too much water and pesticides.

But back to the polytunnels - I'd go with 'great things, in moderation!'
NorthernMonkeyGirl

Solution to "ugly" polytunnels - giant, diverse hedgerows... Very Happy
Mistress Rose

Trouble is with giant hedgerows is that there is no sun on the north side. I know, our neighbours hedge to the south of us has some large trees in it, so no sun on the vegetable patch.
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