Program highlights high tunnels to extend growing season
A videoconference for fruit, flower and vegetable growers on Thursday (Nov. 13) will emphasize tools and techniques to increase farm profitability and sustainability.
The interactive program, part of the North Central Region Organic and Sustainable Ag Video Series, can be viewed from any computer with a high-speed Internet connection by going to https://gomeet.itap.purdue.edu/hightunnels/ . The videoconference also can be viewed at the Purdue University Cooperative Extension office in Hancock County. For individuals who can't watch the conference live, the program will be archived online at http://tristateorganic.info .
High tunnels are inexpensive, plastic-covered, greenhouse-like structures that gather heat from the sun throughout the day and store it in soil to keep plants growing when cooler nighttime temperatures set in during the spring and fall.
Roy Ballard, Purdue Extension educator and program co-coordinator, said that some growers using high tunnels can produce tomatoes by early June while others are growing lettuce and greens year-round.
These structures also can be used for intensive berry production, growing flowers and sweet cherries for table use and market sales, Ballard said.
Jerry Nelson, Purdue Extension educator, will begin the conference at 7 p.m. with a brief welcome and introductions.
Featured topics and speakers include:
* Extending the growing season for tomato production - Lewis Jett, West Virginia University Extension horticultural specialist.
* Winter vegetable production in high tunnels - John Biernbaum, Michigan State University Extension plant and soils science expert.
* Small fruit production in high tunnels - Eric Hanson, Michigan State University Extension plant and soils science expert.
* Floral production in high tunnels - Chris Mullins, Virginia State University Extension commercial vegetable production specialist.
Time will be allotted for questions, and the videoconference will end at 9:30 p.m.
For questions and more information, contact Ballard at (317) 462-1113, firstname.lastname@example.org .
The program is sponsored by Purdue Extension, Michigan State University Extension, University of Illinois Extension, and North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.