Let’s pause in the narrative and build a greenhouse.

It isn’t difficult, using the design I found online from the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, and put to good purpose onHoophouse1
Shuddering Squirrel Acres. This “hoop house” is also one of the most economical structures you’ll find. I made a few mistakes. We’ll get to them later. Learn from them.

The first step is to choose a good location. It should go without saying that you want a piece of solid ground that’s relatively level and at least as large as the greenhouse base. It should be warmed by 6 hours or more of direct sunlight out of 24 hours in winter, ensuring longer exposure in summer. Orient the greenhouse so it sits lengthwise east to west (or for that matter, west to east). This too will ensure the longest exposure when the sun is shining. A tree line, wall or other shelter from rough winds is desirable but not essential.

And don’t forget that you’ll certainly need water and possibly electricity,so plan accordingly.


I looked around online to find the greenhouse that made the most sense to me as a handyman and woodworker, and for which I could spend the least amount of money. Vicki, who’d long held a wish for her own greenhouse, said a footprint of about 10’ x 12’ would be good.

I settled on a set of simple plans from the NCCES. First off, it’s a public document (free!). It includes a materials list, which is a bigger convenience than you might think, and a very cleanly drawn illustration of the frame, with each component numbered. I’d only ever built one structure, a small wooden storage shed, but these instructions were clear enough that I wouldn’t make too many knucklehead moves.Hoophouse4 

5/28/2013 1:29:36 AM

I whole heartedly appreciate your efforts and creattivity in bringing this smart hoop style green house structure! http://a-1fenceproducts.com/honeycomb-fence.htm


mother earth news fair


Feb. 17-18, 2018
Belton, Texas

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, hands-on workshops, and great food!