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updated: 7/25/2014 6:09 PM

New hoophouses at College of Lake County

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Daily Herald Report

Two new hoophouses are now serving as a living laboratories for students in the College of Lake County horticulture and sustainable agriculture programs. By allowing sunlight to warm the inside air to a temperature conducive to planting, the hoophouse extends the growing season by several months. Located south of the Horticulture building on the Grayslake campus, the structures, which measure 96 feet long, 35 feet wide and 16 feet high, consist of metal hoops or frames that support weather-resistant plastic over compost-enriched soil. Knowing how to use hoophouses is vital for sustainable agriculture students who want to start their own business or work for a small farm growing local food, said Rory Klick, chair of the horticulture department. By growing crops in the new structures, students also learn about rain collection methods to support drip irrigation systems, intercropping methods, seasonal crop rotations and sequential planting schedules to grow fruits, vegetables and herbs.

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