Monday, February 6, 2012

Is a Hoop House Right for You?

While reading the Sunday paper yesterday, I ran across an article where a local woman was raving about the fresh-picked spinach she had just gotten from her garden. If you know anything at all about Michigan agriculture, you'll realize that picking spinach in February is not something that all of us get a chance to do.

As it turns out, the woman had been growing spinach -- and other greens, presumably -- in her hoop house. Hoop houses -- sometimes also called hoop greenhouses -- are a reasonably cost-effective way to extend your growing season. They've caught on big-time since 2009, when the White House set a few up on the South Lawn, and was further popularized when the USDA set up a program to help farmers in 38 states get their own hoop houses up and running.

You can buy a kit for a few hundred dollars, or build your own with PVC pipes and plastic sheeting. It's an affordable alternative to a greenhouse, and can extend your growing season considerably.

It's something to think about. On a day like today, the idea of fresh-picked greens sure sounds tempting, doesn't it?

Pictured: Interior of hoop house. It's actually two 8 x 12 Foot Weatherguard 63012 's put together.

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