2006 was a big year for the Roberts Family. We sold our comfy 5000+sq ft home in the city for 6 ½ acres of land covered for the most part in gardens and pastures. We made a big move to
the country and were going to set up home in a cozy 110 year old farmhouse. Our idea was to change our lifestyle which included the way we ate. Michelle was a master gardener and had
grown gardens for years. She took the lead in the gardens and Glen began raising beef and chickens. Everything would be grown naturally.
With seven children still at home and many of them needing work in order to support their extra-curricular activities, we came up with a plan to grow food for others and created a CSA Farm, providing 30 different vegetables to families in weekly boxes or shares. We also and sold vegetables and herbs weekly at 3 different farmers markets in our area.
Because of the need to start our own seeds, Michelle came up with a design for a hoophouse and began raising seedlings indoor to be transplanted in beds when the temperatures were warmer. We applied for grants through the government NRCS offices to bring water to our land in a much more efficient way. They took a look at our hoophouse one year and commented that the NRCS would be giving grants for the building of hoophouses the following
year. We not only applied for the grant, but let them know that we would be happy to build hoophouse for others as well. The word got around and we began building NRCS approved hoophouses for those who received grants. We also built two 90 foot hoophouses on our own property which greatly increased our ability to grow in quantities year round.
As time went by, sons and daughters grew up, went to school, got married, and moved away. The CSA Farm was taken over by a decision to grow healing herbs for an herbal ointment company. The hoophouse business however, was mostly seasonal and we were able to keep that going. It was a good business and provided a way for college kids to earn their way through school.
What is OUR GOAL?
Kevin, who is the third son, graduated in mechanical engineering, Michelle approached him with the idea of joining her as a partner in the Hoophouse business, as it was something she felt he could continue to do and perhaps one day make it the only thing he does. Loving the out of doors and very creative, resourceful, and really more of a builder at heart, she thought he would do well. She was also desirous to put down her gloves and drills and lead a more leisurely life. That happened in 2018. Since that time she continues to be involved when needed, and is always ready to offer an opinion or advise, especially when it comes to gardening questions.
Kevin has made a number of changes and upgrades to the original design and has designed his own gothic style hoophouse with heavier gauge material, adding earth anchors, sliding bay doors, and has simplified the building process. His latest venture has been to create a cover for outdoor pickleball courts and looks forward to branching out in that direction as well.
Our goal was always to offer an excellent product that was affordable, and would allow anyone to grow their own food which we believe more than ever is important. We have been active in our state legislature, fighting to restrict zoning regulations, permit fees, and licensing issues which have won the people of the state much freedom when it comes to the construction of a hightunnel/hoophouse on their site. We participate in farm to fork conventions. We have hosted NRCS learning conventions on our property and have given many tours to students in agricultural classes, sharing with them alternative ways of growing food. Kevin and Michelle have spoken at growers conventions and are very interested in promoting self sustainable living.
For us growing healthy food on our own land and helping others to do the same has become a way of life and one that we have grown to love.