AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host the 2021 Iowa High Tunnel Short Course on Nov. 8 in the Garden Room at Reiman Gardens, located at 1407 S. University Blvd. in Ames. This event is designed to highlight production and management of high tunnel crops along with information on economics and marketing aspects of high tunnel crop production. An update on the status of high tunnel research across the Midwest will be provided.
This course will focus on the importance of crop, environment and soil management for vegetable production in high tunnels; provide a platform to share resources, knowledge and expertise in the area of high tunnel vegetable production; and connect growers, agricultural educators, extension staff and industry personnel working in high tunnels and in the area of local foods.
John Dindia of Lakeview Hill Farm in Leelanau County, Michigan, will serve as the keynote speaker. Lakeview Hill Farm is a Certified Organic produce farm specializing in hoophouse and greenhouse production. Dindia grows a variety of vegetables with a focus on greenhouse heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, salad greens and microgreens.
Additional speakers will include:
- Liz Graznak from Happy Hollow Farm in Jamestown, Missouri. Happy Hollow grows a variety of vegetables both outside and in high tunnels using a combination of highly managed cover cropping techniques, crop rotations, compost applications and hay mulch.
- Eric and Ann Franzenburg of Pheasant Run Farm in Van Horne, Iowa. The Franzenburgs will present information on utilizing high tunnels for cut flower production.
- Wenjing Guan from Purdue University will share information about cultivars, grafting and other strategies to enhance cucumber production in high tunnels.
Registration is free but is required. Register online by Oct. 31. This event is supported by USDA North Central SARE Professional Development Program.
— Ajay Nair, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach