WOOSTER, Ohio — Farming in Ohio is typically a spring-to-fall affair. But as interest in buying local food increases and consumers expect fresh produce year-round, the need and opportunity for four-season production in colder climates has taken center stage.
On Dec. 14, Ohio State University researchers and grower groups will offer a daylong workshop on high tunnels — a season extension strategy that is becoming increasingly popular among vegetable farmers.
The workshop runs 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and will be held at Dutch Heritage Restaurant, 720 state Route 97 West, Bellville.
All growers are invited to participate, but experience with high tunnels is helpful.
Mapping the future
The workshop will be interactive, farmer-centered, and will allow participants to help set the future goals of research and Extension activities related to high tunnel vegetable production.
The workshop will address key issues arising from four-season production, including the impacts of fall-to-spring production on the farm or farmers’ quality of life; resources needed to make year-round production work; and changes in soils, pests and diseases that can be expected under this production system.
“Serious attempts to increase the availability of food grown in the region will require season extension and cooperation by many. With this workshop, we hope to foster skills and business relations,” said Matt Kleinhenz, an OSU Extension and OARDC vegetable specialist.
High tunnels are unheated, plastic-covered, relatively inexpensive structures that need less-costly equipment compared to larger-scale, open-field farming methods. They help protect crops from cold, wind and rain plus certain pests and diseases.
Cost is $25 per person and $20 per additional registrant from the same operation or family, and includes lunch and refreshments.
To register, go to www.surveymonkey.com/s/4seasonworkshop; or contact Kleinhenz at 330-263-3810, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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