I love the wide open spaces of Eastern Oregon. I’ve always had a desire to live a more rustic quiet life, and the dream came true when we moved to our 80 acres in 2002. The biggest down side is that I’m now several hours away from my grandson and the rest of my family. And another is that this is a zone 5 short season climate. That’s hard on a passionate gardener.
One of the ways we found to extend the season is with a hoophouse. We built this one a few years ago, and have been planting earlier in the spring and harvesting later in the fall ever since.
We built this hoophouse slightly modifying the techniques described in the book Green Winters by Jack Frazier. The biggest benefit of this design is that the sides roll up about 3 feet to provide ventilation on hot summer days.
We lined the hoophouse with solar pool cover. This forum at Gardenweb.com will convince you of the benefits of this cover. We acquired this cover from America’s Best Pool Supply.
We also strategically place large plastic garbage cans full of water to create thermal mass near the plants that are most important to us. As the temperatures get colder, the plants close to the water hold on much longer than other plants farther away.
Now we have home grown produce much later into fall. Yum!