Friday, March 9, 2012

Franken Hoops

Spring in Central Illinois, in my experience, always has seemed windy. This year is no exception. A couple of days ago we experienced severe REALLY severe! One building was rocking so bad I thought it would go over at any second. Glad it didn't! The cow hut was flipped over so we moved them to the pasture where the pigs are...not to the delight of the pigs.

Then there is the problem with plastic over the hoophouses. Our plantings in our hoops are doing pretty good right now. We harvested red mustard, arugula, cress, and some lettuce in them this week. Radishes and cilantro are springing up, as well as the fennel and some spinach. In another two weeks we expect to have some green garlic ready. We certainly don't want to lose it all due to the plastic giving way.

But, Thursday morning we went out and saw huge rips on the roofs of the hoops. The rips went up the plastic at each metal rib and the east hoop's east side was a disaster. (Thankfully the west hoop only had two rips.) We scoured the buildings and came up with some spare plastic and started to do some quick repairs while we wait for a call back from the plastic company.

Here you can see one section kind of flapping around and the metal ribs sticking thru the other sections.

Here's two of the three (I'm the third) of the repair crew. Can you tell they are patiently waiting me to stop with the photos already? We used a piece of plastic and fit it between the ribs and the original plastic piece. Then we stapled and taped on the inside to hold it in place. The guys (while I weeded cilantro) put Gorilla tape on the outside at each rib also to hold the ripped pieces to the new plastic (I was too short to help so I just stayed close to the ground inside where it was 70 degrees).

That is how we ended up with this Frankenstein looking hoophouse. Looks like it has sutures or something. Weird, but works for now. Hope we don't get anymore wind!


  1. Frankenhoops...ha! You're absolutely right. It DOES look sutured up. I imagine the plastic is heavy grade and expensive, but no match for mother nature. Does the plastic company replace for free within a certain time frame, or do you have to pay every time you need repairs? I wonder if "monster taping" along the metal ribs during first installation would help to curb any ripping in advance?

  2. No refunds or warranty which is smart on their part I guess. We found a company that sells plastic that has threading through it. You can cut a hole in it and it still doesn't rip. Some friends have it for their hydroponic greenhouses. We'll be getting that to replace the top.

  3. Looks like a big giant gave you a hand with her special sewing maching...and black sutures. Good thinking, y'all. Frankenhoops...I really like that! You might be able to market that back to the plastics company.