August 5, 2008 � use by
Contact: Sue Gwise, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County,
Amy Ivy, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Clinton County, 518-561-7450.
NNY High Tunnel Events August 20, 27-28 in Adams Center, Willsboro &
Due to increasing interest in using covered structures known as high
tunnels to extend the growing season in the cooler North County climate,
a series of four High Tunnel Open Houses are set for Adams Center on
August 20, Willsboro on August 27 and Keene Valley, NY on August 28.
Speakers at each event include Cornell University high tunnel specialist
H. Christian Wien, greenhouse and high tunnel vegetable specialist
Judson Reid of the Cornell Vegetable Program, and the host growers.
Wien, a professor of horticulture at Cornell, will answer questions on
high tunnel design and construction and on wind and temperature
�Just putting a sheet of clear plastic over plants can profoundly affect
many aspects of plant growth and performance,� Wien says.
Wien says he expects the use of high tunnels in New York to return a
gain of $500,000 per year in the farm-gate value of the state�s
horticultural crops by 2010.
Reid has worked with growers producing diverse crops, including
tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, cabbage and onions, using high tunnels
up to 300 feet long. He says, �For example, tomatoes are well-suited to
high tunnel production. Growers can produce 15 to 20 pounds of saleable
tomatoes per plant � that definitely makes this type of production
something to consider.�
The host growers will share their local experiences with using the
tunnels to grow fruit, vegetables and flowers.
At Almedan Produce in Adams Center, Almeda Grandjean built Jefferson
County�s first high tunnel for commercial production in 2005 and rebuilt
in 2006 after a fall storm destroyed the first structure. She has grown
tomatoes, colored peppers and cucumbers in the tunnel and sells to area
schools, farmers� markets shoppers and through a Community Supported
Agriculture program that provides food by subscription to members.
In 2008 for the first time at Carriage House Garden Center in Willsboro,
Christine and Mike McAuliffe tested a high tunnel with battery-powered
roll-up sides. Christine says, �We are already thinking about putting up
another one. It worked very well this year with the annuals we raised on
pallets and the plants we in the ground under cover.�
At the Cornell E.V. Baker Agricultural Research Farm in Willsboro, Farm
Manager Michael Davis and Farm Technician Richard Lamoy have grown a
variety of crops in a tunnel they constructed in 2006. Davis says, "Much
of our tunnel space is devoted to strawberries, raspberries, and
blackberries. Having these fruit crops protected from all the rain has
been a huge benefit this summer as we've had excellent yields of high
quality berries with no disease problems."
At Rivermede Farm in Keene Rob Hastings grows a wide variety of fresh
produce, herbs and flowers in 10 high tunnels and greenhouses. He has
made good use of season extension techniques in the North Country and
will talk about the pros and cons of the various types of tunnels.
Hastings is developing production practices that will allow him to grow
multiple crops 12 months a year in the challenging Adirondack climate.
Open house co-organizer Amy Ivy of Cornell Cooperative Extension of
Clinton County says, �Growing certain types of produce and cut flowers
makes good sense in the North Country. The tunnels extend our short
growing season by several weeks and reduce disease problems by keeping
rain off the plants. More and more calls are coming in to Extension
offices around our region for information and those who are already
using high tunnels love them. These open house events provide an
excellent opportunity to learn first hand from Cornell specialists and
The free Open Houses will be held:
� Wednesday, August 20th from 5:30-7:30 pm at Almedan Produce, 13501
County Route 155, Adams Center (Jefferson County)
� Wednesday, August 27th from 5:30-6:30 pm at Carriage House Garden
Center, 4002 Route 22, Willsboro (Essex County)
� Wednesday, August 27th from 6:30-7:30 pm at Cornell E.V. Baker
Agricultural Research Farm, Point Road, Willsboro (Essex County)
� Thursday, August 28th from 5;30-7:30 pm at Rivermede Farm, Beede Road,
For more information on the open houses, contact Sue Gwise at Cornell
Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County, 315-788-8450, or Amy Ivy at
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Clinton County, 518-561-7450. The
Northern New York Agricultural Development Program provided the funding
for this series of educational open houses.
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