Heaven in a Hoop House

Finding a way to grow cold crops, year round in Michigan, has been a personal goal here at Indigo Acres.  Once temperatures are below freezing, we say goodbye to cold crops, such as: lettuce, spinach, kale, pea pods and cilantro.  But, since we built our hoop houses last year, we have been able to continue experimenting with these crops! img_5407

A few weeks ago, we planted our next round of seeds.  The average overnight temperatures have been below freezing, with our average daytime temperatures around 40 degrees.

Yesterday, the sun was shining, which meant the hoop houses would heat up quickly.  On cloudy days and overnight, we cover the rows, inside the hoop houses, with frost blankets, for extra protection.

Spinach, kale, pea pods and leaf lettuces have all been successful this season!

By 9 a.m. yesterday morning, it was only 28 degrees outside.  But, inside the hoop houses it was already a balmy 40 degrees! img_5395 By 3:00 p.m. it was 60 degrees!  These are perfect temperatures for growing greens!

I was happy to see lots of strong seedlings, soaking up the sunshine yesterday. Hopefully, we will be munching on micro greens, by the weekend and enjoying more mature greens within a few weeks!  img_5401

We do have a few tricks up our sleeves, to help with heat over the Winter.  But for now, we will let Mother Nature work her magic…with a little help from a hoop house!  Happy Gardening!

For the step-by-step process on how we built our hoop houses, visit…


Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…



A Secret Interview With Wifey…

Winter is the time of year when life, on our little hobby farm, becomes a bit of a challenge.  Because of this, I thought it would be fun to have Wifey visit Growing Self again, to answer a few farm questions.  Keep in mind, she does not know I am interviewing her and I am going see how long it takes her to figure it out.  She is very shy, but wicked smart!  I will be lucky to get past two questions!

Here goes nothing!!!

Roda: ” Hey…What are a few things that come to mind when you think of Winter on the farm?”

Wifey: “I don’t know…frozen water. Frozen Poo!  Everything is frozen!  Peaceful…life slows down. Hey…are you interviewing me? (Roda – Nope)  SNOW!   By the way, Murphy has bad puppy gas!”

Roda: “What was your favorite thing about the farm this year?”

Wifey: “Building the hoop houses.  You know that.  I like the challenge of trying to grow things out of season.  I know you are interviewing me…why do I sense that?  I am pleading the 5th now.”

Roda:  “By the way, when do I get to have my mini donkey?”

Wifey: “When I can have a few pigs! Or how about when pigs fly!”

Roda: “Let’s get a few pigs!  I never said “no” to bacon…I mean pigs!  By the way, we need to place our order for Spring chicks and ducklings, next week!!”

Wifey: “...silence…”

Roda: “Did you hear me?”

Wifey: “Yep”

Roda: “So are you excited about that?

Wifey: “What? That we get more chicks?  Where are we going to put them?”

Roda: “We will figure it out…there is plenty of room! Anyway, it will give you the perfect excuse to build something new!”

Wifey: “Chicks are potato chips to you…you can’t have just one!  In fact, chickens are your gateway to more animals.  I have you figured out!”

Roda: “What about ducklings?”

Wifey: “Ducks are messy!  We have enough ducks.  How about more kittens!?  (Wifey walks by the computer…)  Hey, you are interviewing me!  I’m done here! I have nothing more to say.”

Roda: “But what animals are the most naughty?”

Wifey:” The goats! They escape and steal my zip ties and my tools. They think they are helping, but they are not! NO more goats…don’t even ask! And no more questions.”

Roda:  “One more question…What are your final thoughts about our farm…?”

Wifey: “There is a lot of poop on this farm…and it’s getting really deep in here!”

Well, there you have it!  Farm Life from Wifey’s perspective! Gotta love her!

If you are ever in West Michigan, feel free to stop by the farm!  I can promise you one thing, you will be entertained one way or another!

Do What You Love…Love What You Do!

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…



Note:  We all have those first few blog posts that were read by only a few, if by anyone at all.  I thought I would share a few, as they align with my current posts.  This post discusses my magical connection with my horse, Velvet. To this day, it is one of my favorites…enjoy!