All of us at The Garden Detroit are very grateful to have a newly built root cellar and hoop house. When the vacant lot next to our house was available to purchase last Fall, through Detroit's side-lot program, we purchased it and made plans to have a hoop house installed. The cost of the hoop house was included in the grant we received from the Kresge Foundation to launch a flower business in our neighborhood. But, before the hoop house could be built, we had to build the root cellar first, because the hoop house was going to be constructed over the root cellar. Tee Dee Enterprises, a construction company who is refurbishing houses on the same block of our flower farm, came to the rescue and excavated the hole. When they heard Tom was planning to build the root cellar by himself with the help of friends, they convinced him that it was way beyond his capability. So, they wound up building the entire 30' long x 15' wide x 8' deep root cellar and did a fantastic job! Mega-Precast Company, a company in Roseville whose owner is interested in Detroit's revitalization, graciously donated the three custom-made 6" thick 7-ton each cement panels that form the roof of the hoop house. Another miracle occurred when an old friend of Tom, Ron Omilian, who is an AIA Architect, took an interest in the project and drafted exquisite specifications that intrigued and impressed Detroit's building permit department. This was the first permit they had ever issued for the construction of a root cellar. This summer we hope to raise enough funds (approximately $12,000 ) to complete the root cellar by installing the staircase, wiring, dumb-waiter and 120' of heavy duty metal shelving.
We contracted Nifty Hoops, Inc. to build our 30' x 72' hoop house. With a sterling reputation for building high-quality affordable hoop houses, their motto is "Farm More Seasons, Grow More Food." Jeff McCabe, the owner, waited patiently for several months until we finally had the three pre-cast cement ceiling panels lowered onto the root cellar, so that they could safely erect the hoop house over it. Fortunately we had a window of warm enough weather in December for Jeff and his crew to set the posts and construct the rest of the hoop house when weather permitted over the span of two weeks. We wanted to have it finished so that starting in February, we could begin planting and germinating seeds inside the hoop house. We're delighted that the construction of both projects worked out better than we had ever expected, thanks to God's grace.