AMES, Iowa — Current commercial fruit or vegetable growers, gardeners interested in expanding into commercial production and traditional farmers interested in diversifying can learn more about high tunnel production at a Dec. 7 workshop in Dallas Center, sponsored by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
“Like all farmers, fruit and vegetable growers attempt to get the greatest yields of high quality crops from their land,” said Linda Naeve, ISU Extension value added agriculture program coordinator. “This requires careful planning and using the right tools and strategies. Producing high value crops in high tunnels is one way growers can increase their production in a limited space.”
High tunnels are inexpensive, simple, passive-solar greenhouses in which crops are grown directly in the soil. They allow growers to extend the season and produce high yields of quality produce earlier than field-grown crops, thus commanding a higher price at market.
Topics to be covered at the workshop include site and high tunnel selection, construction, soil management, irrigation, pest management, bed design and cropping systems.
The workshop will be held at the Dallas Center Memorial Hall, above City Hall, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pre-registration is required by calling Joe Hannan at 515-993-4281 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Fees for the workshop are $50 per person or $80 per couple and include a training manual/workbook, lunch and refreshments. Registration deadline is Dec. 1, 2011.