• 18Aug

    The free workshop on Saturday, September 11, offers a chance to learn about hoop houses, and get some hands on experience building a low-cost version, at Belcher’s Bucket of Berries, a U-pick farm near Sapulpa, Oklahoma.

    The workshop is free, but registration by September 7 is required to reserve a place.

    A hoop house consists of a sheet of clear plastic stretched over a row of metal hoop ribs, using only the sun for heat. Hoop houses are gaining popularity in Oklahoma because they protect crops from cold weather and extend the growing season, at less cost than conventional, heated greenhouses.

    Tod Hanley of Trebuchet Gardens in Norman will lead participants step by step through the process of building a 100′ by 17′ hoop house of his own design – from bending the hoops, to pounding stakes, to throwing the plastic over the hoops and securing it with ropes. Steve Upson of the Noble Foundation in Ardmore will demonstrate a durable, portable hoop house end wall. Upson has done extensive work on hoop house design. Hanley’s hoop house has several special features that make it inexpensive and easy to put up.

    One way to save is by buying straight tubing and bending it rather than buying readymade hoops. Hanley designed and welded his own bender that easily shapes the hoops, and will show workshop attendees how it works. The user-friendly design makes the hoop house easy to vent by simply pushing up the plastic, and holds up well in the Oklahoma wind.

    To register, contact the Lena Moore at the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture by phone (918.647.9123), fax (918.647.8712), or email (mailbox@kerrcenter.com). A registration form, brochure, and driving directions are available online at www.kerrcenter.com.

    The workshop will be held rain or shine. Bring a lawn chair, and wear shoes suitable for walking in fields.

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