February 16, 2014 at 9:44 am

Feds support 'hoop house' construction in Detroit

Detroit — The federal government is providing $150,000 to support local food cultivation in the Detroit area.

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow announced the funding last week. It will help farmers in Detroit and Wayne County construct seasonal high tunnels, or “hoop houses.” They resemble greenhouses, with ribs of plastic or metal pipe covered with plastic sheeting.

They protect crops from severe weather, reduce the need for pesticides, and cut back on fertilizer loss caused by runoff.

The money comes from a program that encourages environmentally friendly farming.

Stabenow is chairwoman of the Agriculture Committee and sponsored the recently enacted farm bill. She said it makes new investment in local food initiatives, farmers’ markets and community gardens.