If you love the idea of growing your own food year-round (or most of the year), a greenhouse should be at the top of your must-have list. Whether you’re a homesteader, small family farmer or just want a smaller urban garden, Bootstrap Farmer has options for DIY greenhouse kits and more elaborate kits that make setup a breeze.
What Is The Bootstrap Farmer?
Bootstrap Farmer has been around since 2015 and was founded by Brandon Youst. Brandon’s mission was to create a more sustainable future for agriculture.
Before Bootstrap Farmer was launched, Brandon ran a farm-to-table food truck called Veg2Bowl. He grew herbs and vegetables in his high tunnel greenhouses, which he used in his mobile kitchen.
As his business and farm grew, Brandon noticed little things that he could improve on. His goal was to build better high tunnel greenhouses and durable seed trays that could last many seasons. With these two goals in mind, Brandon created Bootstrap Farmer.
DIY Greenhouse Kit Options
Bootstrap Framer makes it easy to build your own greenhouse. They offer convenient kits as well as optional add-ons. They also explain which items you’ll need to purchase to complete your greenhouse.
All greenhouse kits are designed for use in any climate. Additional options allow you to adapt your greenhouse to your climate and needs (more on that soon). The company makes their kits so easy to assemble, you can get any size greenhouse up in just one weekend.
To get your greenhouse up and running, you will need the following tools:
Cutting tool: Hacksaw or sawzall
Drill and drill bits
Nut drivers or adjustable wrenches
Bootstrap Farmer also provides recommendations on tool models, so have the right tools for the job.
Each base kit package includes the following:
4-year, 6-mil greenhouse plastic film: 5-layer film technology; 4-year rating and warranty; anti-dust protection; light transmittance of 90%+; light diffusion of 20% for even lighting
Cross connectors: Made of galvanized steel; connects rails and pipes
Spring wire and lock channel: Secures and attaches your greenhouse covering. Plastic-coated spring wire allows for easy removal of plastic without causing damage.
Ground post driver: Placed over the top of the ground post to help with placing posts in the ground.
Screws and bolts
Installation isn’t as complicated as you might think. Brandon walks you through the entire process in a 30-minute video. In fact, Bootstrap Farmer offers a wealth of information not only on installation, but also how to succeed with growing and seed starting.
To get started, you’ll need to choose a base kit package.
There are three options to choose from:
High Tunnel – 10 Ft. Wide
Ideal for beginners or anyone looking to add-on to their existing farm. This kit comes in a variety of lengths, including:
High Tunnel – 12 Ft. Wide
The 12 ft. wide greenhouse kit gives you a little more space while offering the same selection of convenient lengths:
Custom 20 Ft. Wide Hoop House
The custom wide hoop house is an impressive 20 feet wide and also comes in a wide range of lengths:
The custom kit comes with a wiggle wire and lock channel to keep your greenhouse plastic secure.
Bootstrap Farmer also offers add-ons that make your installation a little easier or upgrade your greenhouse. These add-ons come at an additional cost, but they’re often worth the added expense.
Add-on options include:
If you don’t have one already, you will need a pole bender for the installation of your greenhouse. The bender is used with conduit poles, which you’ll need to buy at your local hardware store.
Four pole bender widths are available:
Pre-Cut Ground Posts
To save you time and the hassle of having to cut and drill your posts, Bootstrap Farmer offers pre-cut ground posts for their high tunnel greenhouses.
These pre-drilled posts are 48” and made from 1-5/8” fence line posts. Packages are available for all greenhouse lengths:
20’ (12 posts)
40’ (22 posts)
60’ (32 posts)
80’ (42 posts)
100’ (52 posts)
Bootstrap Farmer’s sidewall ventilation kit allows for easy airflow and temperature management. These roll-up sidewall curtains use a simple hand crank system for operation.
If you’re using double layer plastic, you’ll want the air inflation kit for convenience and ease of use.
Additional Items to Purchase
DIY kits come with most of the basic items you’ll need for your greenhouse, but you’ll still need to buy some additional things from the local hardware store, such as:
Top rail for bows and ridgepole
Ledger board for hipboard
Line post for your ground posts
Board for your door
Clear roofing panel for your door
Board for your end-walls
EMT for roll-up sides
Here’s the great news: Bootstrap Farmer tells you exactly what you need to buy. They even include a part list with links to hardware stores and prices to make it easy to get exactly what you need.
Pre-Bent Heavy-Duty Hoop House Kits
If you’re looking for a complete kit that’s ready to set up right “out of the box,” you’ll want a pre-bent heavy-duty hoop house kit.
These all-steel greenhouses are made from LEED Certified, heavy-duty American steel with Flo-Coat, an organic seal. Along with the frame, you also get multiple door and end wall options.
The base kit for this greenhouse includes:
Pre-bent 16-gauge hoops
End walls and steel braces
Ground posts and a post driver
36” door frame
Aluminum lock channel
PVC coated spring wire
4-year greenhouse plastic
Additional options are also available, including:
Double layer of plastic
Passive sidewall roll-up kit
Ground cover and shade cloth
Inflation kit for double layer plastic
You can also upgrade the door with the following options:
Upgrade 36” to 72” double door
Add another 36” single door to opposite side of the greenhouse
Upgrade to 72” double doors on each end
As far as sizes go, Bootstrap Farmer offers this greenhouse in a variety of widths and lengths:
Widths: 14’ and 20’
Lengths: 20,’ 40,’ 60,’ 80’ and 100’
Along with greenhouse kits and supplies, Bootstrap Farmer also offers growing supplies to help you get your greenhouse started. In fact, many homesteaders and family farm owners use their supplies exclusively.
Here’s what Bootstrap Farmers offers:
Seed Starting Supplies
Cell and plug inserts, including seed starter pots, plug tray inserts, drop seeder plates and starter trays.
Deep and shallow flats that are BPA-free and heavy-duty.
Net pots and plates.
Seed starting kits.
Vertical racks for propagation and growing microgreens.
Seed starting pots and plastic planters.
Dutch buckets for hydroponic/aquaponic systems.
Grow bags: 4-gallon, 5-gallon, 7-gallon, 10-gallon, 25-gallon, 100-gallon and 20-gallon.
Bulk hemp growing mats.
Coco coir bricks.
Light dep blackout cover.
Microbes, compost tea and nutrients.
Farmer tool set: includes wide trowel, narrow trowel, hand fork, hand cultivator and hand weeder.
LED farm lights: 48” strip grow lights
What About Shipping?
Bootstrap Farmer offers quick and free shipping to the lower 48 states. Remember – kits come with everything but the lumber and metal poles, which you can get for a better price at a local hardware store.
If you’re looking for a greenhouse kit that’s easy to assemble and was designed by someone with first-hand greenhouse-growing experience, Bootstrap Farmer is a great option.