AMES, Iowa — High tunnel production of fruits and vegetables is the topic of November workshops sponsored by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Commercial growers, gardeners interested in commercial production and traditional farmers wanting to diversify can learn more about high tunnel production at the workshop offered at two locations.
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. Both events will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m.
Producing high value crops in high tunnels is one way growers can increase their production in a limited space, according to workshop co-coordinator Linda Naeve, ISU Extension and Outreach's value added agriculture program.
“Like all farmers, fruit and vegetable growers attempt to get the greatest yields of high quality crops from their land,” said Naeve. “This requires careful planning and using the right tools and strategies.”
High tunnels are inexpensive and 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 fee is $55 per person or $90 per couple and includes a training manual workbook, lunch and refreshments. Pre-registration is required. The registration deadline for both events is Monday Nov. 12; register early as space is limited.
Register for the workshops by calling the ISU Extension – Dallas County Office at 515-993-4281 or emailing Joe Hannan at firstname.lastname@example.org.