About the Hoophouses
To satisfy demand for our fresh produce, we’ve constructed hoophouses to grow annual plants. Rows of summer crops, grown in traditional organic gardening style, include salad greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash and basil. In the late summer and early fall, we start carrots, onions, spinach and cold-hardy vegetables to have produce throughout the winter. Once the plants are established, the hoophouses act as cold storage. Although they are dormant, cold weather converts the plants’ starches to sugar, providing some very sweet carrots and other flavorful vegetables for tasty winter recipes.
A hoophouse is designed to take full advantage of sun and air flow. The passive solar structure is built using a series of steel hoops to create a framework over which two layers of polyethelene film are tightly stretched and attached. Doors on each end and sidewalls that roll up provide ventilation for natural cooling and to control condensation. A fan blows air between the layers of poly providing additional insulation from the cold temperatures. On sub-zero days and nights, up to two other layers of crop cloth blanket the plants for extra warmth. In keeping with permaculture practices, we recycle plant refuse for compost.