Nifty Hoop Houses: Local Food Infrastructure Rising in Detroit

May 18, 2012

Detroit Free Press:

Fresh spinach in winter

Last July, Ann Arbor resident Jeff McCabe turned his passion for local foods into a business designing, selling and installing hoop houses, a type of greenhouse that extends the growing season and doesn’t use electricity.

Nifty Hoops expects to sell 50 hoop houses in Michigan this year.

McCabe, a former home remodeler with an electrical engineering degree from the University of Michigan, devised a hoop house that was easier to install than those currently on the market.

So far, McCabe, 52, runs the business by himself. But to install his hoop houses, a process that can take at least seven hours, he gets help from a small group of people that he pays by the hour.

Brendan Sinclair, 27, of Lansing navigates the top of the Hoop House structure as he helps to assemble the greenhouse on the small farm of Jim and Vickie Fackelman in Petersburg Sunday May 6, 2012.

Nifty Hoop’s standard-size hoop house is 3,000 square feet and sells for $12,000, which includes installation costs. The biggest hurdle McCabe encountered was obtaining financing for his business. Banks wouldn’t lend to him, so he borrowed money from his family. Nifty Hoops is now profitable though McCabe pays himself a modest salary.

“I’m working a lot of hours, but I love it,” he said. “Every time we build one, we think of something new.”

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4 Responses to “Nifty Hoop Houses: Local Food Infrastructure Rising in Detroit”

  1. Lazarus Says:

    Eat Your View – What a great quote.


  2. In 2010, the federal government (DoA) spent $13 million to help farmers in 43 states buy environmentally friendly, hoop houses to extend growing seasons, diversify local sustainable produce, and to reduce water, pesticide and fertilizer usage.

    Even right-wing bloggers think it’s an OK idea, although their readers are offended by the government playing the “environmentally friendly” card and for cramming Marxist income redistribution down our throats.


  3. yeah where’s the free market in all this..unfair to the corps !!! discrimination…


  4. [...] lessComparing price per calorie versus by weight or portion sizes leads to different conclusions2012/05/18: PSinclair: Nifty Hoop Houses: Local Food Infrastructure Rising in Detroit2012/05/18: FAO: UN Rome-based agencies welcome G8 commitment to keep food security high on global [...]


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