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These topics have been covered this year in the regular issues of GFM:
January 2010 — The most profitable crops to grow in hoophouses.
February 2010 — How to maintain soil fertility and tilth, plus deal with pests and diseases in hoophouse production.
March 2010 — The trend to movable houses picks up steam, with new designs and better anchoring systems. Plus, how to keep any hoophouse from flying away.
April 2010 — Adam Montri in Michigan provides his spring crop schedule, along with income projections. And Deborah Walton in California explains why even growers in mild climates such as hers can benefit from hoophouses.
May 2010 — Hoophouse modifications for growers in the far north.
June/July 2010 — Caterpillar tunnels: an inexpensive variation on the hoophouse theme.
August 2010 — Details on crops to grow for winter harvest.
More Information on Hoophouses
• USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service announced in December 2009 that hoophouses are now eligible for EQIP funding. The cost-share program may pay more than 75% of the cost of one hoophouse for eligible producers. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is following the program closely and has released new details about how it will be conducted. Read the original press release from NRCS and contact your local NRCS office for more information about participating.
• The Student Organic Farm at Michigan State University has worked out
seeding and transplanting dates for spring and fall hoophouse crops.
The schedule can be downloaded from Adam Montri's hoophouse blog -- scroll down to the entry entitled "What we're planting" for the PDF download. Cited in the January 2010 issue.
• The Kerr Center has detailed instructions on how to build a Spanish-style hoophouse, as designed by Tod and Jamie Hanley of Norman, Oklahoma.
• Steve Upson of the Noble Foundation in Oklahoma has numerous publications on his website about hoophouse crops and construction, including several how-to articles for limited-resource farmers. He is currently working on a hoophouse construction guide for various types of hoophouses. It will be available on CD in 2010, so contact him if you want to order a copy when it's finished: [email protected]
• Carol Miles at Washington State University has a grant to investigate degradable mulches in high tunnels. Information from that project will be posted as it becomes available on her hoophouse website. She also has a publication on how to build a low-cost PVC hoophouse.
• About 600 people nationwide discuss hoophouse matters on the High Tunnels listserv. Click this link to join the conversation.
• Hightunnels.org is a website devoted to high tunnel production in the Midwest.