Local News: Free High Tunnel Workshops to be held in March

High tunnel. Click image to link to read K-State Research and Extension's article on low-cost high tunnel construction.

Kansas Rural Center/KSRE press release:

In March the Kansas Rural Center along with K-State Extension will host two free high tunnel workshops in Lawrence, KS.  A farm tour and high tunnel workshop on March 13 will focus on basic high tunnel fundamentals including construction, crop production, management, and marketing. The March 24 workshop will feature a hands-on high tunnel construction demonstration conducted at The Red Tractor Farm near Lawrence, KS.   Anyone interested in learning more about high tunnels to teach others or adding one to an operation are encouraged to attend.

– Farm Tour & High Tunnel Workshop March 13

The workshop March 13 will begin at 10:00 a.m. at Moon on the Meadow Farm owned and operated by Jill Elmers, for a farm tour.   Moon on the Meadow is a three-acre, Certified Organic vegetable, herb, and small fruit farm utilizing 4000 square feet of high tunnels east of Lawrence.  Elmers markets her products at the downtown Lawrence farmers market and through a CSA.

The afternoon workshop will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the Douglas County Extension Office.  Cary Rivard, K-State Fruit and Vegetable Extension Specialist, will lead a presentation highlighting key topics on high tunnel construction, crop production, and management.  Following Cary, a panel of area high tunnel growers will offer their experience and answer questions regarding the topics listed above along with marketing.  Growers on the panel include Dan Nagengast, owner of Wild Onion Farm, Stephanie Thomas owner of Spring Creek Farm, and Dan and Mary Howell new high tunnel growers near Frankfort, KS.  The afternoon workshop will be held in the North Room of the Dreher Building at the Douglas County Extension Office.

Please register for this workshop by March 10, 2012.

– High Tunnel Construction Workshop March 24

On March 24, from the ground up, participants will have a hand in experiencing techniques used to erect a 20’ x 96’ Zimmerman Hoop House on site starting at 9:00 a.m. on The Red Tractor Farm, owned and operated by Jessica Pierson and Jen Humphrey.  Cary Rivard, K-State Fruit and Vegetable Extension Specialist will lead the construction process offering valuable tips along the way.   During lunch Dan Nagengast, owner of Seeds from Italy and Wild Onion Farm, will contribute his experience building and growing in high tunnels.

Jessica Pierson and Jen Humphrey have been farming since 2008 on land that has been in Jessica’s family for four generations. They raise Boer meat goats, laying hens and about 1.5 acres of vegetables. Red Tractor Farm products are sold at the Lawrence Farmers Market, to a local subscription program and to area restaurants. The farm, which is in rural Douglas County, is under transition to organic practices.

Please register for this workshop by March 21, 2012.

For more information and to register for these workshops, please visit kansasruralcenter.org/calendar.

For questions contact Natalie Fullerton at 402-310-0177, or southcentral.olf@gmail.com

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