Now Accepting Applications for Hoop Houses
First Application Period Ends January 17, 2014
CLEVELAND, Dec. 17, 2013 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will again offer the opportunity for produce growers in the Greater Cleveland area to apply for financial and technical assistance for seasonal high tunnels, commonly referred to as hoop houses.
With assistance from NRCS, urban and rural area farmers established nearly 80 hoop houses, many in community gardens near residential areas. Hoop houses allow growers to cultivate and harvest fresh produce for all but the coldest months, providing a source of nutritious food closer to where people live.
Hoop houses not only benefit people, they protect the environment too. The plants grown in a hoop house need fewer pesticides and nutrients, improving plant health and soil quality. Growing and purchasing food locally improves air quality by decreasing fuel use for transportation.
People interested in applying for assistance to obtain a hoop house should start the application process as soon as possible to allow enough time for securing permits and other documents needed to complete the application. NRCS will select applications for funding on the third Friday of each month beginning January 17, 2014. Additional application selection dates are February 21, March 21, April 18, and May 16, pending fund availability.
Applicants approved for hoop houses must adhere to local zoning and building requirements for hoop houses. Applicants must also show documentation that they will have control of the land where the hoop house will be installed, such as a deed, rental agreement, or lease.
To apply for a hoop house, contact Urban Conservationist Al Norwood at 740-396-2519 (cell) or 216-524-6580 (office). Mr. Norwood assesses the proposed site for the hoop house and helps applicants through the application process.
Find more information on hoop houses and other conservation programs on the Ohio NRCS website at www.oh.nrcs.usda.gov.