Kodiak Daily Mirror - Soil and Water offers hoop house help
  
Soil and Water offers hoop house help
by Julie Herrmann
Jun 26, 2014 | 146 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Hoop houses can grow a huge variety of plants all year round and, thanks to a program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture facilitated by the Kodiak Soil and Water Conservation District, hoop house builders can get reimbursed.

The Kodiak Soil and Water Conservation District is offering Wednesday first-come, first-served informational sessions about hoop houses, also known as high tunnels.

The walk-in time is from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. every Wednesday through September 10 and information on acquiring one through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program will be available.

The EQIP program provides technical and financial assistance for these hoop houses and other conservation projects such as fencing and irrigation.

There are 52 high tunnels through this program in and around Kodiak, according to KSWCD Project Coordinator Dave Kaplan. He said there are high tunnels on the south end of Afognak, in Old Harbor and all over urban Kodiak.

There are about a dozen applications for one in the works, Kaplan said.

The list of things that can be grown in a hoop house seems endless.

“I can’t believe what they grow,” Kaplan said, adding that he has observed 8-foot tall cornstalks.

“I’ve seen fig trees. They grow everything. People can grow all year round, basically,” Kaplan added.

The application process sounds complicated and there are protocols to follow, and that’s what Kaplan and the KSWCD are there to help with on Wednesdays.

The process starts when an interested person fills out and submits an application. They are then placed on the National Resources Conservation Service list and Kaplan surveys the area the hoop house would be in. Once the survey is turned in and approved, the hoop house can be ordered and erected in varying sizes.

After it’s built, Kaplan inspects the hoop house and the owner can apply to be reimbursed.

It’s possible to get up to 100 percent of the cost of the hoop house reimbursed, Kaplan said.

“I have all the documents that they need, I have applications and I’d be happy to answer any questions,” Kaplan said.

Current owners can get their questions answered as well.

Contact Julie Herrmann at jherrmann@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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