Because we are a mountainous zone 5, our growing season can be 60-120 days and you never know for sure. In my community we are a bit further from the Cascade Mountain range so we are closer to 100 days. That does not always allow the tomatoes and melons to finish. So recently in the Mother Earth News there was a set of plans for a hoop house to extend or start the growing season early. Here is a picture of how far along I am on my hoophouse. I have no construction skills but dove in anyway. Will put the skin on it in January so I can start lettuce and asian vegetables in February.
We used to keep 1 for the kids and let it change into a moth. These can devastate a tomato plant but usually I have enough trimmings at the end of the season to take care of 1. The moths are huge and my 5 year old loves them. I have never seen one that color before, but I have seen their colors vary here in Oklahoma. Just make sure it doesn't start talking and using opposable thumbs...and I think we are ok.
Hoop houses work really well. Here are a few tips:
I made mine smaller, over each bed separately.
Each bed has brackets with a short piece of pipe every 4'.
Keep the bracket and short pipe attached to the beds all the time.
In the summer you can attach a trellis to them for climbing vegetables. By carefully installing the brackets and pipe exactly 4' apart I can make interchangeable trellises. Store them out of the way, grab as many as I need, and know they will fit anywhere.
Same with the hoops. They are mobile. Remove them for rototilling, but otherwise they can stay in place most of the time.
You can put some shade cloth over the hoops when the plants are really young, or just planted to protect them from the hottest sun. This is why the hoops are over each bed separately.
In the winter I put clear plastic over them to extend the season. It tends to blow away. I keep the plastic long enough to lay on the ground in the walkways and put a 2 x 4 or several bricks on it to hold it down. On sunny days I can uncover the bed, leaving the plastic in the walkway until later in the day, then cover the beds at night.
Cut PVC to make clips to hold the plastic in place.
You can make a crop rotation system that includes chickens. Put a box at one end of the vegetable bed for them to sleep in, and cover the hoops with mesh to keep the chickens in the vegetable bed. They tend to fling the soil out of the beds when they are digging.