NDSU, the NDSU Extension Service and the Cass County Extension office are set to host a high tunnel construction field day at the NDSU Horticulture Research Farm near Absaraka, North Dakota. The field day is scheduled for Friday, April 29, beginning at 10 a.m.
High tunnels are simple structures used to extend the growing season for horticultural crops such as vegetables, small fruits and cut flowers. While they resemble greenhouses, the structures are more economical and less labor-intensive to construct. They consist of simple frames covered by a single plastic layer. Most high tunnels are not heated and don’t require electricity to operate.
"High tunnels have become increasingly popular in North Dakota among horticultural producers who sell at farmers' markets," said Harlene Hatterman-Valenti, professor of plant sciences and high-value crop researcher. "In some cases, producers can extend their growing season by two months."
"The field day is designed for producers and community gardens that are considering high-tunnel production," said Esther McGinnis, NDSU Extension horticulturist and assistant professor. "This is their opportunity to watch, participate in construction of a 96-foot by 30-foot high tunnel and ask questions."
NDSU received funding from the North Dakota Specialty Crop Block Grant Program to study high-tunnel production in Williston, Bottineau and Absaraka, North Dakota. This is a collaborative project with the NDSU Williston Research Extension Center and Dakota College's Entrepreneurial Center for Horticulture.
Attending the field day is free of charge, but advance registration is required by April 25. Lunch will be provided.
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