By Tracy Turner | Posted on 4/9/2014
ARCHBOLD, Ohio - Vegetable crop and specialty fruit producers who want to learn more about the use of high and low tunnels can attend a workshop and farm tour April 24 held by educators from Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
The daylong workshop will feature small group discussions on the basics of integrating tunnel systems into fruit or vegetable operations, said Eric Richer, an Ohio State University Extension educator. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college.
The workshop is geared toward new low tunnel/high tunnel producers as well as those who want a refresher course on this effective production system, Richer said. The use of these tunnels can benefit crop production and increase farm profits, he said.
"The day will include a nice balance of inside instructional basics on growing crops under low or high tunnels and an outdoor farm tour to see how a local producer has added low tunnels to their existing high tunnel production," Richer said. "We are fortunate to have Matt Kleinhenz here to lead the technical instruction as he has research experience with crops under covers from all over the country."
Kleinhenz is an OSU Extension vegetable crops specialist.
The workshop is from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Heritage Inn at Sauder Village, 22611 State Route 2 in Archbold. The program will also feature a tour of the Kinsman Farm, a family owned and operated operation that offers organic vegetable and fruit production. The farm uses two high tunnels and several low tunnels to extend its growing season in the spring and fall, organizers said.
Speakers for the workshop include Kleinhenz; growers Valerie and Doug Kinsman; and Richer.
Registration for the workshop is $30 for the first person from a farm or organization and $20 for each subsequent person from the same farm or organization. Registration includes a light breakfast, full lunch, materials, a select grower publication and the farm tour. The deadline to register is April 17.
A registration form can be found at http://www.go.osu.edu/lowtunnel or by calling 419-337-9210.
Topics to be discussed include:
* Growing crops under covers: Why it works, why it fails.
* Linking under-cover crops to profitable markets.
* Tunnels of many types and their uses.
* Case studies of microclimate management from the Kinsman Farm.
For more information, contact Richer at 419-337-9210, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.