When millions in funding didn't come in from Richmond, Sprouting Hope's plans to build two "high tunnel" hoop houses looked bleak. The USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service's Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) has helped thousands of farmers increase their yields and extend their growing season by funding the construction of high tunnels. Unfortunately, this year only about a quarter of the requested $50 million was awarded for EQIP projects and Sprouting Hope's request wasn't funded.
As our hopes for a spring hoop house diminished, we were surprised to hear the good news that United Way in Abingdon wants to fund one hoop house! With this support for the cost of materials for the hoop house and Grow Appalachia's support including technical assistance, our plans are coming to fruition. Mark your calendars! We plan to build the hoop house on May 16th.
A huge thanks to United Way for their generosity and support. Our organizations are collaborating on a community garden United Way is building in Saltville as part of a community activity center. We look forward to our growing partnership.