The Milkweed Diaries

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hoop House Raising

Earlier this year, for my birthday, we had a hoophouse - raising party and friends and family helped put up our new-used hoop house, bought at bargain basement prices from friends who were moving.

(Above: the Hoophouse Raising)

It was a beautiful day, it was easy work, and of course there were many opportunities for "hooping it up" puns for those so inclined, and we got the whole skeleton raised so we could stretch the plastic cover over it the next day.

Now the hoophouse is all ready for its new life on our land (below), and we have many plans for it, of course.

We had already been thinking about putting raised beds in the hoophouse for season extension and winter crops that need a little protection, using it for seed starting in the early spring, and so on, when I read this inspiring article: Growing Trust in Mother Earth News.

The article is an excerpt from Barbara Kingsolver's book, Animal, Vegetable Miracle, but with photos .... including this one (below) of a hoophouse at Amy Klippenstein and Paul Lacinski's farm. In this hoophouse, the hoops are trellises to grow pole beans during the summer. In winter, the bean vines come down and the plastic goes up and salad greens in grow in the hoophouse through the cold months. So now we've added trellised beans to our list of hoophouse plans.

Temperatures have been in the teens this week, and we're fast approaching the shortest day of the year. Not much is growing in our small garden this month, but visions of early tomatoes, greens through the winter, and a tunnel of beans dance in my head.

Bright Solstice Blessings.....


More information: The Hoop House Handbook is online at Growing For Market (click on "books" from their main page)

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