Chicago area gardeners face uneven landscape when it comes to rules on using hoop houses

Yvonne Agnello-Adams loves her Chicago backyard garden where she grows zucchini, beans, lettuce, herbs, cucumbers and tomatoes. But every October she’s forced to harvest a pile of green tomatoes that haven’t had a chance to ripen on the vine when the cold weather hits. And she’s tired of going through this every fall. “I can’t eat that many fried green tomatoes,” she said, “because I will turn into a fried green tomato.”

So she wrote in and asked Curious City: How do we extend the growing season without spending thousands of dollars on a permanent greenhouse? This is a great question any year, but it’s especially compelling in this pandemic year when so many have lost jobs and interest in home gardening has soared. Extending the Chicago growing season could help improve residents’ health, finances and food security.

As they researched the issue, they found that there are several ways to extend the growing season. These include expensive permanent greenhouses, low tunnels that can protect crops for a short time during the shoulder seasons and one very effective and pretty affordable option called a hoop house or high tunnel.

Read more at WBEZ.


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