Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hoop house build!

On Sunday November 2oth, we built a small hoop house in the yard of the Ginsberg Center! It was a fun workday and it only took us about two hours to build.

All photos on this post by: Nate Ayers

A few days later, the wind and rain took a toll on the hoop house, so we had to temporarily remove the plastic. We will be having a workday after Thanksgiving break to re-fit the plastic with the correct pvc clamps, so our hoop will be sturdy and snow-proof all winter long!

Hoop houses are like green houses, but made out of clear plastic and pvc or metal piping. They are cheaper and easier to move than traditional glass greenhouses, but still use the sun's energy to create a warm, humid environment. Hoop houses are great for places like Michigan, because they lengthen the growing season; we are hoping to grow lettuce, spinach, and other veggies all winter long! We put two of our rain barrels in the hoop house which will act as thermal reservoirs: heating up on sunny days and keeping the heat in the house through the chilly nights.

A huge thanks to the volunteers who came out, the Ginsberg Center for their cooperation, and especially to the hard work of Lauren for organizing the project and gathering the materials!!

Also a gigantic thanks to Nate Ayers, a local permaculturalist, who provided the hoops and helped us build the hoop house!! Check out Nate's company: Chiwara Permaculture. Nate also provided all of the photos for this post.

Step 1: Build wooden frame, dig holes for hoop bases

Step 2: bury the pvc hoop bases, attach hoops, cut the plastic

Step 3: secure hoops with a cross-beam

Step 4: stretch plastic over hoops

Step 5: secure plastic and install nifty plastic zipper-door

Step 6: Celebrate!

Next steps: we will ready the soil for planting, add compost to the soil from our compost bins, plant seeds, figure out a rain barrel watering system, and experiment with different vegetables.

Now that we have a hoop house, we will have outdoor garden work to do all winter long! If you are interested in helping out with the hoop house or participating in our indoor winter workdays and workshops please email us at

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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