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A hoophouse is a low-cost, low-tech greenhouse structure that is erected right in the field so plants can be grown in the ground, but with some protection from the elements. Hoophouses rely on the sun for heat, and natural ventilation for cooling. Because of their low cost to build and operate, hoophouses can pay for themselves in just one season.
Hoophouses are also known as high tunnels, cold frames and passive solar greenhouses. They have been widely used in Europe for decades. Now growers everywhere are discovering the many benefits of growing in a hoophouse: Crops get an earlier start in spring and can be produced later in fall; Cold-hardy crops can be grown all winter; Crops that can't be grown outside because of wind thrive in a hoophouse; Yield and quality in most crops are greatly improved.
Besides producing great food and flowers over a longer season, hoophouses add a measure of predictability that just doesn't exist elsewhere in farming. While field crops suffer from excessive rain, late and early frosts, hail, windstorms and other natural hazards, hoophouse crops just keep growing.
The Hoophouse Handbook provides an essential introduction to hoophouse horticulture. It describes the most profitable crops to grow in a hoophouse, including cut flowers, early and heirloom tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, and salad greens. It also offers advice on how to buy, site and build a hoophouse. With more than 50 photos and illustrations, this book makes it easy to get started with this profitable farm business.Softcover, 8.5x11, color cover and interior, 112 pages.Previous price: $28. Now on sale $20.