"Mr. NRCS man, can I apply for a grant to get a hoop house for my farm?" I asked eagerly and hopefully.  The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in 2010 was awarding small fruit and vegetable farmers some funds in order to purchase and research the effectiveness of hoop houses in Illinois (and other states as well).  Since I was established as a small farmer who sold produce through the local farmers markets, we were an ideal candidate for the grant. 

The NRCS man, whose real name is Joe, was ever so helpful and just amazingly supportive.  He helped me fill out the mountains of paperwork, pointed to the multiple places I needed to sign, and encouraged me to get all my documents together so that when the next allocation of grants was awarded Beacon Woods Farm might be given a hoop house grant.

The Making of a Hoop House