Friday, January 20, 2012

Main Street Calumet to host workshop on hoop houses Jan. 25

CALUMET -- The Main Street Calumet Market will host the third in its series of free public workshops at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012, at the Village of Calumet Council Chambers (located in the Calumet Theatre building), 340 Sixth Street, Calumet. Kelly Cantway, Special Projects Coordinator with the Marquette Food Co-op, will conduct the workshop, which is based on her experience working on five hoop house projects in Marquette County.

Hoop houses are unheated greenhouses that are gaining popularity, with individual and commercial producers, as a way to protect plants from harsh weather conditions, extend local growing seasons and consequently increase a producer’s output and income. Ms. Cantway’s presentation will cover a variety of topics -- including how to get started with financial assistance, hoop house construction, and the potential to harvest and market produce year round.

An example of how a variation on hoop houses is being used to extend the growing season on a farm in Maine can be found in a video titled "Living Off The Land," part of a series titled Diary of a Foodie produced by Gourmet Magazine. Click here and go to 1:50 (1 min. 50 sec.) into the video. A second episode entitled "The Collective" shows how a small town in Vermont is using agriculture and food production to establish a brand for area products and help revive the local economy. Click here and go to segments beginning at 12:40 (to 18:23) and again at 20:34.

Given the time of year, the Main Street Calumet Market would also like to direct local growers' attention to a free webinar presented by the Practical Farmers of Iowa titled "Tax Preparation Training for Farmers," which was held on Jan. 10, 2012. If you missed the original webinar, it is available on their Web site. The information is applicable to growers in all 50 states.

For additional information or questions about the workshop please contact the Main Street Calumet Market at 906-337-6246 or

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