Food security and food sovereignty are increasingly important; especially now, as more people begin to rely more heavily on our local resources, including our food pantries. As part of our essential critical infrastructure, these folks have seen a major increase in use by local residents who are now suddenly without access or are very limited in their ability to get food for themselves and their families.
WSU Extension is bringing attention to the importance and use of season extension facilities for our local growers to produce more food in order to meet this increased need in our communities.
Hoop Houses are small, semi-portable structures that can be used as a small greenhouse structure for starting seedlings and for growing heat-loving vegetables. A hoop house provides frost protection, limited insect protection, and season extension. Hoop house structures are easily constructed and will last many years. Hoop house dimensions can be adjusted to personal needs, but a structure 4 feet x 10 feet is recommended. These dimensions allow easy side access for weeding and allow adequate hoop arch strength relative to span. Cost of this structure is modest. A 4 foot x 10 foot Hoophouse with soil fill can be constructed for approximately $150-$200.
ATTRA Hoophouse Webinar. A slide presentation that presents the uses and benefits of hoop houses, different types of hoop houses, construction, materials and cost estimates, management of crops, soil fertility, pests and weeds, and the economics and marketing of crops.
Field Hoophouse. An easy-to-make field hoophouse. New Mexico State University Circular 606.
High Tunnel Overview. Benefits and costs of high tunnels. Links to research studies regarding crop production. The Pennsylvania State University.
High Tunnel Production and Low Cost Tunnel Construction Webinar from eOrganic. A Webinar presented by Tim Coolong, University of Kentucky, is an introduction to season extension using high tunnels. Covers common issues associated with tunnel production, and provides a short overview of how to construct a low cost pvc tunnel. The Webinar is for growers who are interested in season extension, but who may not want to invest a large amount of money right away.
High Tunnel Guide. Brief overview of advantages, disadvantages, structure selection, installation and management of high tunnels. USDA NRCS.
High Tunnel Manual. Construction and management information, case studies of farms in US using high tunnels with different crops and management intensity. Cornell University, University of Vermont, NESARE.
The HUB was created as a dynamic tool consisting of 3 things…
We use the idea of a hub to organize our food systems focus areas in a relevant and interconnected way. They are Sustainable Production Practices, Equitable Access, Energy and Waste Reduction, Processing and Distribution, Economic Benefits, Policy and Regulation, Farmland and Resource Conservation, and also include the WA Food and Farm Finder!
Using these same hub focus areas, we organize and promote an online compilation of resources and events.
And thirdly, the hub is also being used in the networking sense. It has become a weekly convening of leaders from across the Washington State food system, from farmers and educators to advocates and resource providers. In this unprecedented time of need for a resilient and equitable food system, we are coming together to leverage all of the unique skill sets of our presenters and participants. The HUB is LIVE every Friday at 10am and you can view all the previous HUB episodes on our YouTube Channel too!
Who is the WSU Food Systems HUB for?
Leaders from across the Washington State food system, from farmers and educators to advocates and resource providers:
State Agency Staff and Specialists
WSU Food Systems Team Members
Farm and Food Businesses
WSU Extension, Research, & Academic Faculty and Staff