Farm more seasons. Grow more food.
Nifty Hoops pays attention to what you need to grow. Our hoophouses and high tunnels are designed to help you get your products to market faster. Affordably. Through our experience working closely with four-season growers, our designs maximize important features while minimizing cost. More than just a collection of interchangeable parts; each structure is a system that helps you and your business grow.
Nifty Hoops has a vision for the future of our food system. We want to help our growers become successful and profitable while they do the good hard work of feeding our communities.
“ I believe we can create a better future together by supporting the farms that produce healthy, sustainable, local food. At Nifty Hoops, we innovate ways to make growing food more profitable, and more fun, year round. Let us know how we can help."
— Jeff McCabe, Founder
How we got started
Selma Cafe – Nifty Hoops was born out of farm and food system community activism in SE Michigan. In 2008 Jeff McCabe co-founded Selma Cafe and raised $400,000 over a 4 year period by turning his family home into a one meal a week restaurant. Friday mornings at Selma Cafe have been attended by thousands of people from around Michigan and around the world. Breakfast proceeds were turned into farmer loans specifically to build hoophouses and the hundreds of volunteers who put on the breakfast event came back out again to the farms to assemble the hoophouses in big community barn raising events.
Tilian Farm Development Center was launched in 2010. Jeff applied for and received a USDA Conservation Innovation Grant to start this “farm incubator”. At Tilian, farmers can develop their own farm businesses without the need to invest in fences, tractors, hoophouses and other major capital expenses. Tilian has graduated many successful farmers in the Ann Arbor area including Green Things Farm and Seeley Farm, both major producers in the Ann Arbor local foods market.
Hoophouse innovation – In 2011, Jeff turned his full attention on hoophouse design, manufacturing and construction. After seeing so many people struggle with difficult-to-install hoophouse structures, it seemed time for new innovation to make hoophouses both easier to install and more valuable to vegetable growers. Every frame member of a Nifty Hoop is made from heavy duty steel tubing and passes through a tube laser to precisely place cut-outs and attachment holes that make the structure simple to install with superior strength and durability. No on-site measuring, marking, cutting and clamping. Nifty Hoops are laser precise, built to last, and proven in the field. We see that each structure is assembled quickly and efficiently on your farm. We build hoophouses in one day, so that you can get to the farming.
Supporting our Grower Community – Nifty Hoops backs up its growers with service, an open ear, and educational and networking opportunities. The first annual NiftyCon event in Kalamazoo in February 2016 gathered the vanguard of hoophouse growers for a day of sharing and celebrating the success of our growing farm culture. Let’s place your farm on the expanding map of Nifty Hoops hoophouse growers.
Some of our work
In 2013 we built a 30’x96′ hoophouse for Anne Rauscher’s Swallowtail Farm in Mason, MI. Anne has a diversified vegetable farm that focuses on raspberries and value added crops. Anne says that her hoophouse has allowed her to extend her growing season, add new crops and experiment with hoophouse production of her raspberry crop. Anne’s hoophouse was partially funded by the NRCS EQIP hoophouse cost share program.
In 2016, Zingerman’s Corman Farm wanted to increase tomato production and alleviate the potential crop losses associated with the less than predictable weather in SE Michigan of the last several years. Hoophouses increase the heat that tomatoes and others of the solanaceae family of plants thrive on. At the same time, the hoophouse allows the grower to more effectively control watering and insect control. And the hoophouse is an ideal structure to trellis tomatoes and other vining plants. This hoophouse features roll-up end walls for easy equipment access to a full 22′ of the 30′ hoophouse width.
In 2016 Plilip Deloria chose the 14′ wide Sidestep hoophouse for his season extension needs at Fiddlehead Farm in Pellston, MI. The structures can be quickly moved sideways to adjacent plots by removing the poly cover and carrying the frame in 12′ sections. The structures initially covered his warm weather crops like tomatoes, peppers and eggplant before moving over fall crops planted long before the warm crops had finished producing. Additional sets of ground posts allow for even more elaborate rotation plans that can add areas planted in cover crops and even perennial crops that only benefit from hoophouse protection during a fraction of the year.