Linda Naeve
Value Added Agriculture Program

515-294-8946
lnaeve@iastate.edu

Articles by this author:

Labor is a key challenge for fruit and vegetable growers looking to meet increased demand, but sharing machinery is a possible solution. A new manual from  Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture can help.

Communities, local food networks and county extension offices have the opportunity to schedule Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) workshops for local growers.

Current commercial fruit or vegetable growers and traditional farmers interested in diversifying can learn more about high tunnel production at a March 26 workshop at the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach – Harrison County office in Logan.

High tunnel production of fruits and vegetables is the topic of upcoming workshops sponsored by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The workshop will be held at the ISU Extension – Hardin County office in Iowa Falls on Nov. 17, and the ISU Extension – Linn County office in Marion on Nov. 19.

Iowa farming may change forever with the increased use of high tunnels. These simple, plastic-covered, solar-heated structures offer many benefits to farming – some benefits that common row crop vegetable farming cannot provide. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has released a new publication that describes the cost benefits of high tunnel farming.

High tunnels are inexpensive, simple, passive-solar greenhouses that allow growers to extend the season and produce high yields of quality produce earlier and later than field-grown crops. However, soil around a high tunnel can erode or become saturated after rainfall. This potential problem has been turned into an asset, thanks to a one-year research project conducted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

In May 2011, Iowa farm women began sharing their experiences in central Africa, where 80 percent of the farming is done by women. The collaboration was developed by a farmer-to-farmer project through Iowa State University’s Value Added Agriculture program with cooperation from a Ugandan nonprofit organization, Volunteer Efforts for Developing Concerns (VEDCO).

Take a  tour of the MarketMaker website by viewing recently released videos highlighting everything MarketMaker has available. MarketMaker is an online tool connecting family shoppers with farmers and everyone in between – including restaurants and grocery stores.

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.

A third group of volunteers traveled to Uganda in August this year as part of the rural development program, Bridging the Gap: Increasing Competitiveness of Ugandan Women Farmers in the Marketplace. This farmer-to-farmer program pairs Iowa women farmers with eight groups of women farmers in the Kamuli District of Uganda.