100 Degrees in N. MI in Mid-May

hoophouse inside view

Long, steamy length of hoop! I'll be filling this with tomatoes soon!

15 months ago we took vacation days from work to attend a hoophouse-growing workshop put on by the Michigan Land Use Institute. Today we put the finishing touches on a timber-frame movable 40′ hoophouse of our own.

Following the workshop, I astounded Tom by putting aside my shyness and marching right up to presenter Craig Schaaf, of Golden Rule Farm, Kaleva, to pepper him with questions and determine the best time to visit his farm. During our winter visit several months later, Craig agreed to help coordinate a number of interested farmers and help us build our own hoophouses. I spent the remaining winter months studying more Eliot Coleman’s techniques of 4-season growing and dreaming of warm winter days cutting greens in a hoop.

Putting on plastic cover.

Craig Schaaf leads the team in putting plastic on the hoophouse.

Today, thanks to the donation of time and energy from so many lovely people in all of the steps along the way, we retired to the hoophouse after dinner to enjoy the 100 degree temperatures. In May. In Northern Michigan. On a 52 degree, breezy day.

thermometer inside hoophouse

100 degrees within 1-2 hours.

Fresh salad greens next March for all of you who helped in this journey…maybe some early ripe tomatoes, too.

This farm continually helps to impress on me the kindheartedness and generosity of the people who come here — who help this farm grow and thrive. The longer we farm, the more of these people and families we meet. I’m not sure which is more gratifying — the growing or the sharing.


Newly completed hoophouse @ Echo Bend.

Looking into the hoophouse

Mother and daughter soaking up the warmth of the new "farm sauna."

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