Current commercial fruit or vegetable growers and traditional farmers interested in diversifying can learn more about high tunnel production and marketing at a Dec. 3-4, 2010 workshop in Mt. Pleasant in southeast Iowa. The workshop is sponsored by Iowa State University Extension, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and Pathfinders RC&D.
"Like all farmers, fruit and vegetable growers attempt to get the greatest yields of high quality crops from their land," says Linda Naeve, Iowa State University Extension's 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 way to extend growing season
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 this in-depth workshop at Mt. Pleasant include site and high tunnel selection, construction, soil management, irrigation, pest management, bed design and cropping systems, market plan development and business plan development.
The workshop will be held at the Henry County Extension office, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. This workshop is funded through an Iowa Department of Ag specialty crop grant. Pre-registration is required by calling Sue Woods at 515-294-9483 or e-mailing at [email protected]. Fees for the workshop are $30 per person or $50 per couple, which includes a training manual and refreshments. Registration deadline is Nov. 29, 2010.