Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative
From NSCA blog: Zoë Bradbury of Valley Flora Farm is part of a team of family farmers (Zoe, her sister Abby, and her mother Betsy) raising over 100 varieties of organic fruits and vegetables on 90 acres along Flora’s Creek in Langlois, Oregon. Their CSA serves families within a 50-mile radius and the farm is committed to sustainable practices. Farming along Oregon’s famously wet, blustery coast means Valley Flora’s crops need to be able to withstand cool summer temperatures, high winds, and rainy shoulder seasons.
To manage these challenges, Bradbury applied for the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative, which offers cost-share funding and technical assistance to farmers who want to extend the growing season on their farms by using high tunnels. High tunnels (or “hoop houses”) are hoop-like structures covered with plastic and placed over growing areas to help control the growing environment inside. High tunnels require no energy use, and rely only on natural sunlight to heat the tunnel, creating conditions that are favorable for warm-season vegetables and other specialty crops.
RELATED: High Tunnel iBook Available
Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s High Tunnel Crop Production Handbook is now available free as an iBook. The publication was developed for training new and beginning farmers. It addresses construction, irrigation, fertilization, and insect pest management for high tunnels and also includes a resource list for beginning farmers. See book…