CAHS Hosts High Tunnel Workshop

The Cooperative Extension Program (CEP)-AgNR recently hosted Extending Your Growing Season: Crop Production in High Tunnel, a workshop focused on fall vegetable production in a high tunnel on September 16, 2017. The workshop’s main objective was to educate small producers about how to extend their growing season by producing crops during the fall.

Ms. Grace Summers, Small Farm Outreach Agent from Virginia State University Cooperative Extension, was a featured speaker, along with Dr. Aruna Weerasooriya and Dr. Peter Ampim, Research Scientists with Prairie View A&M University’s Cooperative Agricultural Research Center (CARC). The workshop also included presentations from Mozelle Carter, USDA-NRCS Soil Conservationist, Stephanie Wilson, County Executive Director from Harris-Montgomery-Waller County Farm Service Agency and Mike Oliver, State Forester, USDA-NRCS.

Thirty-five participants attended the workshop. The morning session covered the following topics:

  • Fall Vegetables Production in High Tunnel
  • Why Choose High Tunnel Production.
  • How to utilize a Hoop House or High Tunnel
  • High Tunnel System through the USDA NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
  • High Value Vegetable Production in High Tunnel
  • Medicinal Plant Production in High Tunnel

The afternoon session of the workshop was held at the Governor Bill and Vara Daniel Farm on the main campus at PVAMU, where participants were engaged in a practical demonstration on using their high tunnel effectively during the fall. Pest control, spacing, irrigation, and crop selection were among the topics that were covered.

Workshop attendees engaged in high tunnel demonstration
Workshop attendees engaged in high tunnel demonstration

Twenty-four persons completed a workshop evaluation. Eighty-seven percent of the participants who completed the survey stated that their understanding of two or more of the topics covered during the workshop had increased. Eighty-three percent of the participants stated that they probably will or definitely will adopt some of the practices covered during the workshop.

This program was supported, in part, by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, through its Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Grant.

Kesha A. Henry, Ph.D.
Kesha A. Henry, Ph.D.
Program Specialist, Agriculture and Natural Resources
(936) 261-5030