This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.
we discuss the greenhouse effect.
and gardeners have long used greenhouses to extend the growing season in cold
weather. Now, hoop houses are gaining popularity. Hoop houses are sometimes
called a temporary greenhouse or passive solar greenhouse.
hoop house is basically a metal frame covered with plastic or other all-weather
material. A common design looks like a high tunnel. Unlike a greenhouse, which
uses a heating system, a hoop house is heated by the warmth of the sun.
the United States Department of Agriculture has announced a program to help farmers
who want to build hoop houses.
department, through its Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension
Service, has been supporting a project in Michigan. That state has a short
part of the research project, nine farmers were given materials and trained how
to build and use a hoop house. The results showed that well-managed hoop houses
can grow high-quality crops.
However, crops are not the only things
that grow well. The research found that weeds grow faster in a hoop house. Weeding,
seeding and watering requires at least as much work as crops grown in the open
air. The researchers also advise growers to add compost material to the soil in
hoop houses to build nutrients.
Coleman is an organic farmer and a writer in Maine who has helped popularize the
idea of four-season farming. His ideas about hoop houses sounded good to John
Biernbaum in the Horticulture Department at Michigan State University.
Professor Biernbaum tried hoop houses on
the Student Organic Farm at Michigan State and had success. Project director David
Conner says it was a "test drive" for the research on private farms. The
agricultural economist points to the demand for locally grown crops. "People
are hungry for good, fresh vegetables," he says.
Hoop houses for winter growing can even be found at the
White House, where Michelle Obama has a vegetable garden. The houses are small
because of limited space on the South Lawn.
hoop house specialist at Michigan State University, Adam Montri, has videos on
YouTube explaining how to build one. You can go to voaspecialenglish.com and
find a link to his videos and also a link to our videos on YouTube.
And that's the VOA Special English
Agriculture Report, written by Jerilyn Watson. I'm Bob Doughty.