You may remember back in March when a terrible storm destroyed our educational hoop house. Within hours, our Cultivator community responded to our call to action and helped raised the necessary funds to rebuild. Thank you! With your support, we were able to quickly fix up the hoop houses that sustained minor damage, but our very first hoop house had sustained more damage than the rest.
But, why did we wait so long? The answer is in the design of a hoop house. A hoop house, otherwise known as a high tunnel, is meant to provide shelter and a more controlled environment for plants to thrive in all year long. For us here in Baltimore, MD where summers are hot and humid and winters bring snow, hoop houses are more beneficial during the late fall and winter seasons. They can even become too hot during the summer.
So, we used the summer as a time to plan. Students from our summer camps, as well as those who joined us during service learning projects, provided their input on what should be planted and helped prepare the space for a new design. Then in early fall, our new AmeriCorps members had the unique opportunity to learn how to build a hoop house. They used these new skills to guide a group of volunteers through the build process on October 27th.
We’ve already begun to plant in our new educational hoop house with garlic and lettuce seeded by field trips. We have many exciting ideas planned for the upcoming growing season and look forward to welcome over a thousand students in this space. We certainly hope you’ll come see it, too.