A Hoophouse on the Horizon


| 5/9/2011 12:45:20 AM


Tags: hoophouse, high tunnel, greenhouse, farmers market, market growing, Sherry Leverich Tucker,

Last summer I signed up for what will be a great opportunity. Early in the growing season I heard of a grant that helps cover the cost of buying a hoophouse. The friend that told me about this is a fellow farmers market seller, and he said I should go to the local USDA office and ask them for the details.

What is a HOOPHOUSE? 

A hoophouse, also called a high tunnel, is a plastic sheeting covered structure. It is usually supported by metal posts, frame and pylons connected to each other making a Quonset or pagoda shaped building. It is used similarly to a greenhouse, but it's primarily used for extending crop seasons. sherryveggies 

I didn't know a whole lot about hoophouses, but was intrigued enough to dig deeper. In this part of Missouri there aren't many growers using hoophouses (greenhouses are more common). I went to the county NCRS office and talked to our local DNR representative, Dan. He wrote my information down and sent me home with some paperwork.

The grant is open to persons who own property and have raised crops on that land in one of the last 5 years. Any size hoophouse kit may be purchased if you are part of the program, but the NCRS will only pay $1.89 per square foot for up to 2178 Square feet (one fifth of an acre). I qualified for an extra allowance and gained an extra $0.35 per square foot to make it $2.24. There is also another allowance for those growers wanting to gain their organic certification. Some of the standards vary by state and only 38 states are included in this EQIP program.

Think Before Signing! 




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