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"Hoop Dreams for Guerrilla Gardeners"

This is an intensive food growing workshop for beginners and experienced alike, focusing on building and using low-cost, "low tunnels" in a "four season" system. Dan Botkin, farmer, teacher and activist from Gill, MA, will demonstrate various uses of home-crafted, low-tunnel greenhouses for season extension, crop protection, and aerial trellising, in backyard gardens or micro-farms, anywhere.

Dan will compare materials and building strategies, including wire, wooden slats, PVC pipe and steel conduit. He will also show several "guerrilla" propagation and weather proofing techniques which take seasonal advantage of the tunnels. The workshop concludes with a pipe bending demonstration, to fabricate steel hoops. Participants are invited to bring their own (10' EMT steel conduit pipes) to bend into "hoops" to create their own low-tunnel greenhouses...

Lunch and farm tour are included. $40 or barter... For more information call,[masked]-8696.

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  • Dan B.

    In order to cover your tunnel and effectively batten down the edges, you will need a rectangle at least 20' x 15', Wendy. But it need not be "greenhouse" plastic, nor perfectly intact. Slits or perforations serve as natural "ventilation" which is critical, even in the cold winter months...

    1 · April 28, 2013

    • Dan B.

      6 ml plastic is best, 4 ml will also work...

      April 29, 2013

    • Wendy F.

      Dan--Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. Before the sun sets, I plan to have my first hoop house built to protect my plants from the predicted low of 30 degrees on Monday.

      May 12, 2013

  • Dan B.

    Everyone enjoyed the simplicity of "hoop bending" and the versatility of "low tunnels" for crop protection and extension. Fun for the whole family...

    May 12, 2013

  • Dan B.

    Yes, plant the whole shebang, directly in the ground is fine. Propagate later...

    May 7, 2013

    • Diane

      Thanks for giving me the go ahead for planting those little balls directly in the ground now. Would you also know of a local Deerfield farmer who could sell us some compost mixed with loam? Martin's Farm does not deliver less than 7 yds and I only need one. Since we don't own a truck, we are wondering if you know anyone in our area that could deliver it to our back yard? Tha

      May 7, 2013

  • Diane

    You know the leek seeds have 3 seeds in it, but do you plant the little circle that envelops the 3 seeds or do I crack the seeds out of that pod and plant the seeds? Also can I plant the seeds directly in the ground at this time of the year. This is May 6th. Thanks

    May 6, 2013

  • Wendy F.

    Great workshop! Photos posted to Facebook. What is the size of the plastic needed to cover the 10' x 6' low hoop house?

    April 28, 2013

  • Diane

    Good to see you. Thanks for the leek seeds.

    April 27, 2013

  • Diane

    This was a beautiful day for learning about hoop making as well as all the good info that got shared re: gardening. We ate a wonderful home made soup and bread after the day was done. It felt like family! Great host and hostess! Thank you.

    April 27, 2013

  • Diane

    Sorry to get back to you this late but yes we are coming.

    April 27, 2013

  • Dan B.

    Home Depot has 10' EMT pipe for $4 each. I sometimes put them on the roof rack of my Subaru hatchback. Six pipes make a 10' x6' low tunnel. I have enough here to demo but not to re-sell. Bring your own if you're looking to go home with bent "hoops"...

    April 26, 2013

  • Dan B.

    You will need directions, GPS or not... Call me or email [masked]

    April 26, 2013

  • Dan B.

    3/4 inch EMT works best, although you could save money with 1/2...

    April 26, 2013

  • Stephen

    Hi, What diameter EMT do you recommend?

    April 23, 2013

6 went

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