Friday, March 5, 2010

HOOP houses and the USDA

I've been thinking of some ideas on what to write about lately and decided to give kudos to the USDA who has finally come up with a program that will encourage local, sustainable agriculture.

They have recently created a reimbursement program to defray costs to small producers who want to build a hoop house, otherwise known as a cold frame or french-style cold greenhouse.

This is actually an old technique where two layers of air are used to hold heat in in order to raise cool season veggies in the winter and extend the warm season further into spring and fall for heat-loving plants like tomatoes.

Remember, there was a time when fresh produce could not be shipped across country during winter months, and people relied on squash and canned goods to get their veggies in the winter. This was one way to allow fresh, seasonal greens for example to be produced in northern climes.

While the money is limited, it does give small producers an opportunity to grow product in the winter months for local resale.

We are very excited to join this awesome program and look forward to offering fresh produce essentially year-round to our customers.

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