Extend that Growing Season, not Your Finances!

I will be the first to admit that I’m a dreamer. I have been told by other dreamers that I have even loftier dreams than most!! I take this as a compliment. Most often you will also hear in the same conversation that I managed to put a real #thriftandknack twist into my dream and accomplished my “lofty” dream in an affordable way.

I have been thinking about having a greenhouse for as long as I can remember. Last winter as I looked at my makeshift growing areas set up all over the house, I started to wonder where I was going to store all my plants when it was time for them to be hardened off – but they weren’t quite ready to be big plants all on their own in a sometimes frost filled Midwest month of April. { ok, let’s face it – May is pretty frost filled as well }

I started to explore the option of adding a green house to my home garden. Dreams of a beautiful Gothic arch greenhouse were distracting me day and night. But I began to wonder about the return on my investment. Was it something that I had to have? Nope. Was that area going to be somewhat useless to me during the hot summer months when I need to be growing in ground? Maybe. Then I began to wonder about the hoop houses that I see commercial operations using. In my mind, I could extend my growing season and virtually do so directly in the ground {via a raised bed build up for this ol back}. So I reached out immediately to two fellas who I admire and connect with on Twitter. One being Ryan Weesies and the other Grayson Keller. Both of these two men are outstanding businessmen, in my age group, tenacious growers, and yep – seem to have a bit of that dreamer mentality that I so easily connect with. I called each fella and had a great chat with them about growing using high wind tunnels, hoop houses (which ever you may call it).

Quickly I understood these hoop houses to be extremely important in extending my growing season. I also began to understand that these structures can be somewhat portable. And finally it dawned on me that I could adapt my growing situation with a hoop house (possibly more affordably than with a permanent glass structure) because I could potentially remove the plastic or add shade cloths as necessary depending on the specific growing challenge.

So began the google search. I took a different approach than what I usually use! I went straight for 3 articles and then called my local USDA office. I couldn’t believe that I had stumbled across — a fairly new grant initiative! It was that easy.

Calling my local USDA Office was so informative! I highly recommend that you simply make one phone call to your local USDA OFFICE and they will provide you with all the proper information. A grant? For a hoop house? Yep. And there is so, so much more! I recommend you make that call and refer to these articles as well. Can you imagine all you could be growing with this initiative?! It’s stellar! #BeTheGood — that’s what powers me to share this info! Please share with your friends too!

Make That Call! YOUR Local USDA Office Info Here!

5 Steps To Get Assistance

What Am I Going to do With a Hoop House?!

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