What is it?
While they may look like greenhouses, high tunnels are actually quite different. High tunnels are polyethylene, plastic or fabric covered hoop structures that can be assembled fora fraction of the cost, with plants grown in raised beds or grown directly in the ground.
Why High Tunnels?
Since the grown conditions are controlled, plant health is optimized. And because high tunnels prevent direct rainfall from reaching plants, farmers can use precise tools like irrigation to efficiently deliver water and nutrients to plants. High tunnels also offer farmers a greater ability to control pests and can even protect plants from pollen and pesticide drift.
With high tunnels, farmers can grow crops earlier in the spring and later into the winter month and sometimes, rear round! Farmers can provide their communities with more diverse local crops, reducing energy and transportation costs as well as greater food security.