High Tunnel Course in the Fingerlakes

High Tunnels Year Round!

Groundswell, Cornell Cooperative Extension and Mentor Farmers are teaming up to offer a new season-long course on growing, managing and marketing high tunnel crops. High tunnels are becoming a must have tool for produce farmers looking to extend the season in spring and fall, and to protect crops from weather, pests and disease during the growing season.   If you are considering the purchase of a high tunnel or want to become more proficient at using the tunnels you have, this series is for you. Introduction to High Tunnels Workshop, February 9, 2015 An Introduction to High Tunnels workshop will be held on Monday, February 9, from 1-4 PM at Good Life Farm in Interlaken. Judson Reid, Cooperative Extension Vegetable Crops Specialist and growers Melissa Madden of Good Life Farm and Evangeline Sarat of Sweet Land Farm will co-teach this session.  Come early at noon for soup and informal conversation with other growers. In addition, Patrick Barry from USDA NRCS will talk about funding for tunnels. The February 9 Introduction to High Tunnels workshop at Good Life Farm is a stand-alone session. To register for this workshop call Cooperative Extension, 607-272-2292 or email mr55@cornell.edu. There is a $5 charge for this class. Year-Round High Tunnels Course, March – November 2015  For those looking for more in-depth technical training, a 27-hour Year-Round High Tunnels Course will be offered, patterned after Groundswell’s popular farmer-designed course in Holistic Organic Orchard Management. Sessions will be held on the second Sunday of each month, March through November, with a break in August. Each session will be held at a different farm, highlighting diverse production systems.  Host farmers and Cornell Cooperative Extension educators will address the full range of production and management issues including: soil fertility, pest and disease management, varieties, economics, marketing, and crop-specific practices for tomatoes, greens and fruit. 

To accommodate changes in daylight hours, our March and April classes will run from 1-4 PM; then from May through November, classes will run from 4-7 PM.                                         Class size is limited so please register early! Full tuition for the Year-Round High Tunnels Course is $435. Tuition assistance is available for those with financial limitations. To register and to apply for tuition assistance contact info@groundswellcenter.org.   2015 Year-Round High Tunnels Course schedule:  
Date & Time Location Topics
MONDAY Feb 9  1-4 PM Good Life Farm Tunnel design options, management basics, market opportunities, NRCS grant program, Good Life Farm Tunnel Tour
SUNDAY Mar 8  1-4 PM Tree Gate Farm Soils & fertility management, bed prep, soil testing, problem solving
SUNDAY April 12,  1-4 PM Jackman Vineyards Veg varieties, tomato grafting practicum
SUNDAY May 10,  4-7 PM Blue Heron Farm Tomatoes & cukes: trellising, pruning, cultural practices
SUNDAY June 14,  4-7 PM Cornell Orchards High & low tunnels for fruit production
SUNDAY July 12,  4-7 PM Sweetland Farm Pest ID & management
SUNDAY September 13, 4-7PM Main Street Farm Aquaponics, microgreens
SUNDAY October 11, 4-7  PM Plowbreak Farm Winter & fall greens
SUNDAY November 8,   4-7 PM TBA Putting it all together for 2015: Production planning and financial projections for your farm.

Support for Groundswell’s Year-Round High Tunnels Course is provided by Park Foundation, USDA’s Beginning Farmer & Rancher Development Program, and the generous contributions of Groundswell Members and Donors.

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