Harvst HQ is a wild, windy plot near the coast, in West Wales. We try to grow enough greens to feed family and friends, and we’re not doing too badly.
Our vegetables only grow well when the weather is kind.
And only in the summer.
However, if it’s too hot and dry, everything struggles because we really don’t have time to water it all.
If we go away for a few days, we have to hope for rain or ask a neighbour to water for us.
We often get strong winds which stunt and slow the growth of many plants.
If it’s too wet, things just get soggy or don’t germinate.
We decided to help our plants along a little, and started by building a small greenhouse / cold frame around one of the raised beds. We also added a self-watering system to feed them just the right amount of water on a regular basis, and a self-opening lid for hot days. We caught rain water using the lids, and were pleasantly surprised at how feasible it is to be almost self-sufficient for water.
Success was immediate (well, as far as it can be, when plants take weeks to grow). Chard, spinach, peppers, tomatoes, salad, onions, carrots – everything thrived in the protected environment, and grew much faster than their equivalents out in the garden. And some veg even grew better than it does in our polytunnel.
Without us having to do anything at all, apart from a little weeding.
It was great to see how much can be grown in a small space when the conditions are right. You don’t need a big garden. You don’t need a full size greenhouse. You don’t even need to be at home to do the watering.
So many of our guests and visitors wanted a small, self-watering, automated grow frame in their own gardens, that we decided to take the system to market, and launch the Harvst brand. Throughout the summer of 2020, we’ve iterated hard.
We’ve improved the frames. We’ve had gales and heat waves; it’s been a good summer for testing.
We’ve come up with a neat frame design that opens up for complete access to your greens while also being a strong, tough structure.
We’ve improved the control system, the off-grid solar charging system, and added the option for mains power connection.
We’ve added a web app, and an online account where you can monitor and manage your Harvst greenhouse from anywhere.
Irrigation is managed in two zones which lets you run different sprayers, drippers or schedules for different plants.
Now, over to you.
We’re now sending out production Harvsters for you to enjoy the same success. We know there are many improvements we can make to every aspect of Harvst, and over the next few months we’ll be making changes where needed.
Whether it’s a tiny urban back yard or a rural small holding… Harvst greenhouses can fit anywhere. Whether you’re a complete rookie growing veg for the first time, or an experienced gardener wanting some hands-off productivity from your space, a Harvst mini greenhouse can help.
There’s something magical about the “grow house” which shelters, protects, waters and monitors your plants … and produces the best tomatoes of them all.