What are Hoop Houses?
Also called high tunnels, they improve agricultural output and prevent crop freezing
Hoop houses, or high tunnels, get their name because they are made of a variety of hoops covered with plastic. They allow air circulation, can be rolled up , and are less expensive than other ways of keeping crops warm. They function as greenhouses in northern climates, and have been compared to translucent quonset huts.
Hoop houses have made news recently thanks to a federal investment in this farm technology. Though the federal government has spent only a few million dollars on these structures, the impact is seen as significant because of the potential for improving farm productivity and crop choices in areas that traditionally allowed for shorter growing seasons or only a few crops per season. Farmers can plant crops earlier and harvest later, which has a big impact on the availability of food, especially in a time where food prices have gotten higher. Some farmers even say they can grow tomatoes year-round, despite being further north than Florida.
Notes and Special Information
Special note: Hoop houses can only do so much when it comes to preventing freezing conditions, especially in northern climates during the late growing season.