SMITH — Hoop houses are burgeoning across Nevada as local farmers continue to benefit from increased vegetable production and sales.
To meet demand for training in this innovative technique, the Western Nevada College (WNC) Specialty Crop Institute will hold a low-cost hoop house construction workshop from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 4 at Smith Valley High School, 20 Day Lane, in Smith. Cost is $35 for those registering by April 25, and $45 after April 25. Lunch is included. Seating is limited, and registration is required.
Featured speaker Ray Johnson of Custom Gardens Organic Farm will lead a hands-on demonstration of how to build a low-cost hoop house, constructed primarily of PVC tubing, precut rebar, greenhouse plastic and two-by-four boards. Developed by Utah State University, the design is popular among growers who are interested in hoop house production without a large financial investment. Johnson will also discuss growing techniques and planting schedules for hoop houses.
Smith Valley High School teacher Andy Smith plans to use the hoop house to teach business planning and vegetable production to his agricultural students. Smith considers proper business planning essential to a successful farm enterprise. He will share highlights of his student project with workshop participants.
Hoop houses are the newest trend in local agriculture. The simple greenhouse structures provide shelter from the wind and cold temperatures, resulting in a longer growing season, increased harvests and increased profits for commercial producers.
Western Nevada College coordinated a similar workshop in January 2011, attracting more than 140 participants to Yerington. Since that workshop, producers have constructed dozens of the USU-model hoop houses across the state, both for commercial and private use.
The WNC Specialty Crop Institute teaches alternative farming methods for local growers. Funding for this project was provided by the Nevada Department of Agriculture and USDA/AMS through the Specialty Crop Block Grant.
For more information and to register, contact Ann Louhela at 351-2551 or firstname.lastname@example.org.