Hoophouse in Bad Weather

I wrote about building our hoophouse for hay storage last fall as we prepared to move all of our hay into a new location. The hoophouse is 30' with 24' PVC hoops. It could comfortably hold 180-200 square bales at a time. 

Erecting such a structure in Tennessee is a bit risky given the high wind speeds and frequency of tornadoes. Every time the winds pick up above 40 or 50 mph I get a little nervous and half-expect to see a giant white ball of shattered PVC and torn white plastic tumbling across the fields.

Last night's storm was a great test with wind speeds reaching a reported 105 mph only 15 minutes north of us. I don't think it got that bad where we are, but there were some mighty gusts that had us up from about 3am to 4:30am watching for tornadoes and monitoring the radar.This morning the hoop house was fine, however. It held steady and kept the hay dry.

Our animals also love the structure. Sometimes our LGD Sheba will climb the fence and find a nice place to nap inside. Our cat, Levon, also finds solace atop the hay bales. Nevat, the LGD puppy, can't terrorize him up there.

Nevat 'playing' with Levon while we reloaded our hay stash


New hay bales loaded; Levon happily perched above the puppy's reach


Sheba rents one of Levon's hay bales for the night

Thus far it's held up well, keeping our fingers crossed that it stays that way.

The $500 Hoop House for Hay Storage

We're remodeling an old red barn that was used for milking cows in the 1970's and 80's. It's been abandoned since then and was infested with termites, brown recluse spiders, and who knows what else (actually, I know everything else that was in there, but the list is way too long).

The old milking barn was our hay and lumber storage. We recently decided to transform the barn into a small creamery/classroom space/milking parlor. Over the next few months I'm working with Sweetbreads' step-father to fix up the old building. Good thing he knows what he's doing...

With all that going on we needed somewhere to put all of our hay. We couldn't afford to put up a nice, big hay barn, so we sought out an economical solution. What we found was a $500 hoop house. All of our materials were bought new (except for some screws and a few 2x4's). If you have access to free PVC or plastic covering you could build this thing for next to nothing. 

Read More