Friday, December 18, 2009

EXCELLENT ARTICLE: How to Make a Home Garden Greenhouse, Like Michelle Obama

How to Make a Home Garden Greenhouse, Like Michelle Obama

Video: Keeping a garden alive through the winter, with a zero-energy hoop house you can build yourself.

Gardens are great. Except in winter, when they're gray and lifeless, like the gray and lifeless lawn, set amid the gray and lifeless trees and the gray and... well, you get the point.

It doesn't have to be this way. You can build a hoop house, and enjoy winter vegetables all year round, even in some of the coldest parts of the country. And you can do it yourself, cheaply and with minimal effort.

Michelle Obama knows this. In the South Lawn garden the First Lady created, White House chef Sam Kass and Department of Agriculture staff, including organic and local food champion Kathleen Merrigan, built a hoop house, making this video in the process:

If you want to make your own hoop house, look no further. We've partnered with Roger Doiron, founder of Kitchen Garden International, to show us how. One of The Daily Green's 2009 Heart of Green Award winners, Doiron and KGI were instrumental in encouraging the First Lady to build the White House garden in the first place. A public campaign, including an innovative Facebook petition drive, helped convince Michelle Obama to team up with Sam Kass, the USDA and White House staff to plant the organic garden. KGI continues to inspire home gardeners to grow more of their own food -- something a hoop house helps you accomplish.
How to Make a Hoop House, an Easy Home Garden Greenhouse

by Roger Doiron

Worth the effort
Building a hoop house is a bit like having children: there's a lot of pleasure involved with the idea's conception, but very poor knowledge of the real work involved down the road. But just as it is difficult for me as a family man to imagine living without my children, I'd have a tough time living without my hoop house. It is a central part of my gardening life, not to mention a favorite hangout for my little boys. These instructions are meant to give you the inspiration and know-how to start a hoop house project of your own.

Weatherproof gardening
First, a few words of inspiration: tomatoes, melons and peppers. Need I say more? A hoop house provides the extra heat units you need to realize your wildest kitchen gardening fantasies. It allows you to have an earlier start, a later finish and lots of extra warmth in between. The first year I had mine up, I was so excited about all the possibilities that I gardened right through the year and was harvesting Mache and Claytonia salads in the dead of winter which is not bad seeing that I live in Maine (Northeast USA). As if that weren't enough, here's the showstopper: With a hoop house, you can garden in the rain and not get wet!


1 comment:

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