ISU Extension to Host High Tunnel Construction Field Day Aug. 8-9 in Packwood

PACKWOOD, 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 construction and production at an Aug. 8-9 workshop in Packwood sponsored by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Local vegetable farmer Claude Nicholson, who has constructed high tunnels, will lead the workshop and provide guidance to those interested in participating in the construction process.

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, hands-on construction, soil management, irrigation, pest management, bed design and cropping systems.

The workshop will be held at Nature’s Way Farm, located at 1225 Ironwood Avenue, Packwood, Iowa, located 3 ½ miles east of Packwood. The farm is transitioning to organic production and will be certified organic in 2012. The workshop will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day.

Pre-registration is preferred. To register, call farm owner Cary Spray at 641-919-6599 or Marsha Laux, program coordinator, Iowa State University Extension Value Added Agriculture program at 319-796-4362 or