Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Vision for UA

What would the University be like if we had a hoop house? A hoop house is a greenhouse made with large hoops or bows, made of metal, plastic pipe or even wood, covered with a layer of heavy greenhouse plastic. It typically has no heaters or fans, but instead, is heated by the sun and cooled by the wind. With a hoop house seasons will be longer and warmer allowing the garden to produce more. Plants can be started a few weeks earlier than the regular start date causing the plant to bloom early.

Just like a green house, hoop houses also protect against harmful weather and predators that can eat plants.

Hoophouses are inexpensive and pretty simple to build. You can build one for a couple hundred dollars and get more from your garden. At least six more weeks of extra production in the spring and fall because of the warmth of the hoophouse

Specific plants that can grow well in a hoop house are tomatos, raspberries, strawberries, cut flowers, melons, eggplant, summer squash, and pepper.

Thinking about starting a hoop house on campus could be a great idea. Many students have wanted to get an on-campus garden started at UA and a hoop house could be a cheap and great way to start. Students could build the hoop house together once a location was found for it. I think it should be strongly considered because it could allow more students to be involved with gardening and the Arboretum. The University is a big school and not having an on campus garden, lessens the possibility of students finding out about groups like Students for Sustainability and Homegrown Alabama.

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