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The greenhouse effect:

Local gardening projects benefit from special structures

The weather finally might be getting warm enough to put plants in the ground without the fear of an overnight frost bringing their young green lives to a premature and withered end.

So, since things are greening up in the region, many projects are underway to take advantage of the beginning of the growing season — and they encompass wide age ranges and abilities.

They’re also not just about making sure mid-summer hamburgers have homegrown onions to put on them. They’re about teaching sustainability and giving people a purpose.

And they’re taking place in greenhouses and hoop houses — basically sheltered environments that use solar radiation to trap heat, which can be a rare commodity in the Upper Peninsula.

A greenhouse can have a hard exterior, while a hoop house typically has a plastic roof wrapped over a flexible structure of hoops.

Steve Finley was the volunteer coordinator for a June 8 “re-skinning” of the Shiras Greenhouse at the Jacobetti Home for Veterans, helping to put on a new polycarbonate exterior.

The greenhouse has existed since 1985 following a donation from the Shiras Institute. However, it needed some renovations.

“What we had originally was glass,” Finley said, “and the glass was beginning to break and literally fall into the greenhouse. With this new material, we’re running 12-foot sheets, and that means that there’s going to be nothing that will fall in, and we get a greater insulation value.”

Read the full article at The Mining Journal.

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