“Hoolyloop house”

It only lasted a few days.  Almost three year olds have an annoying habit of loosing some of the cure ‘ism’s far too soon.  When two, our little one called hula-hoops ‘hoolyloops’ and would correct you if you said it right.  I mean, she’s a kid, she knows what they are really called, right?  Well as we finished the hoop house this spring, she did manage to mispronounce ‘hoop house’ enough to take the name on.  For a while.  She now corrects us “no daddy, da hOOp houtse”  “Dilly Daddy”….  Ah kids.

So here it is, in pictorial story.  I’ll narrate (just in case you can’t tell plastic from grass, and a pipe from a board).

Site selection

Starting the sleeve, finished with the 2×4 for a coushin

Neighbors helping out.. I love our neighbors.

The added benefit of the screw into the ledger through the PVC, it kept the hoop from digging into the ground.

The helpful little farmer.

These people are the three reasons I farm. Growing our own (eggs, chicken, veggies, honey, milk etc) lets us feel like we are giving them the best we possibly can. We started with cold frames in the hoop house for two reasons, 1- chickens 2- they are that much warmer, and 3- the ground is still too wet to work (oops, I suppose that’s three)

The legs are from an old picnic table, it would be in here, but the wood finally gave up the fight against the PNW’s wood killing weather. The legs are GREAT though!

Here we have the clean out crew at work. So far I have hauled out a big load of ‘thatch’ and they are getting into bare dirt in places now… And as soon as the ground drys out I’ll kick them out and direct seed.
There it is so far! I am sure you’ll see more of this summer!

Edit: It was brought to my attention that this pile of photos needed some hard metrics and explanations…

The size of this house was 11.5′ by 30′, dictated by the size of the 6 mil plastic that I could get pre-cut (at 24′ by 50′).  My logic was to have two feet on either side to secure, and 10′ hanging down at each end to tuck in and secure in the door way.  The PVC is 1″ schedule 40 and as my day job is as an electrical PM and estimator, I was able to coerce a supply house to deliver 20′ conduits (so I don’t have a joint at the peak) to the farm.  It cost me an additional $6 total.  The peak of the roof is at about 7′ 6″ (depending on how deep the low spot  you are in is), and if I had made the house a full 12 or even 13′ wide, I would probably still be able to walk around in it no problem.  The pipes that we drove into the ground were 1 1/4″ cut down to 2′ 6″ and pounded about a foot and a half into the ground.  As there is so much of them above ground, I think they help keep the 1″ ribs running vertically a little further from the ground (and that helps with the headroom).  The ridge pipe (a 3/4″ pvc pipe) is there to keep the ribs at the same distance apart, and to give me a place to hang plants, or tie up tomatoes.  The two side ones are for the same purpose.  They ridge poles are screwed to the ribs (careful to have the screw not be long enough to reach all the way to the plastic.

The 2×4 on the bottom probably could have been 2×6’s, but I was trying to stay under a $300 budget.  The support pipes have a 3″ wood screw through them, into the 2×4, and this acts as a stop for the 1″ ribs.  The plastic is rolled around the second 2×4 and they are screwed together, sandwiching the plastic between them.  The main purposes for the 2×4’s at the bottom are for 1-weight, to hold the entire thing down, 2- give a place to secure the plastic 3- provide an anchor for the support pipes.

I could have done the entire thing solo, but it was really nice to have a couple of extra hands to keep moving with assembly as I head scratched my way through some ‘engineering issues”.  I was able to get the plastic over on my own, but took my time with it.

If I was to do one thing differently next time, it would be to have the perimeter prepped, so that the 2×4 sits in better contact wit the soil.  There is a bit of an air gap, ad I can feel the cold air coming in with the wind.  I assume this gap will be filled by soil as I bring manure into the hoolyloop house.


6 thoughts on ““Hoolyloop house”

  1. Trish

    Thanks for posting the photo story. What are the dimensions- how long was the PVC? I am planning on building a hoop house this spring too so I would really appreciate any input. Also, did you use a long branch along the top and the walls for supporting the hoops? Did you just wire it on? And how important do you think it is to use the 2X4’s at the base? Do you think they could be skipped?

    1. adalynfarm Post author

      Trish, Thanks for asking such great questions! Obviously I need to work on my ‘how to’ blogging! I have edited the post to include the answers to your questions, in case other folks can’t find their way into the comments section.

  2. Walter Jeffries

    Looks great. How is the PVC holding up? Any signs of damage from cold or sun? The grey, if it is like what I have for electrical work, is UV inhibited but I’ve never tried using it under stress.

    1. adalynfarm Post author

      Walter, It’s holding up really well. It’s a little green (I need to clean it off, things in the Pacific North West tend to get a little green if they sit out), but the plastic seems as flexible and resilient as the day we put it up. The grey PVC has worked great! Next time, I’ll try to either design the entire thing to move (like some of Elliot Coleman’s) or be removable, so the soil can get some rain and weather in the winter, it acts ‘funny’ and not like the soil in the rest of the garden, since it doesn’t get the same water and freeze thaw cycle as the rest of the property.


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