Friday, November 19, 2010

Hoop Houses

This past summer we went to an open house at the
which is in northern New Mexico just upstream 
along the Rio Grande River from Espanola.

 This is a farm run by New Mexico State University.

While there I got some photos of their hoop houses,
 which is a program to help small farmers who sell 
at the farmers market to extend their growing season.

In the above photo you can see the basic construction, 
but what jumps out for me is how the green 2x4 wall 
is being pushed out at the top where it connects with the PVC hoops.
This needs some refinement.

This photo shows some earlier prototypes 
where metal posts were used instead of 2x4's.

Above shows a spot where the PVC is stressed by the force of the bent PVC.
For more on how to build your own click here to see the pdf.
This has much information on how to design,
site, build, and use your hoop house.

55 gallon drums filled with water help to moderate the temperature 
by absorbing the heat during the day and releasing it at night.

A 6 mil. polyethylene plastic with a UV inhibiter is used for the glazing.
Notice the green strips used to help hold the plastic to the hoops.
This plastic has a special ribbing in it to make stronger.

The smaller horizontal pipe is used to water the growing area.
These are intended as a low cost way for small farmers to increase their profits
but certainly the concept could be of use to home gardeners.

 The trade off is using so many petroleum based materials.