Seasonal High Tunnel Educational Initiative for Detroit and Wayne County

Educational resources and workshops sponsored by the Southeast Michigan Resources Conservation & Development Council will help ensure the success of new and existing hoophouse growers.

The Southeast Michigan Resources Conservation & Development Council (RC&D Council) is offering an Educational Initiative on Seasonal High Tunnels (also known as hoop houses) in 2014. This is a partner program to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Wayne County Local Food Initiative that offers funding for seasonal high tunnel construction for eligible applicants.

Seasonal high tunnels are temporary structures constructed of plastic sheeting covering hoops of metal tubing with the purpose of extending the growing season. These seasonal high tunnels are usually at least six feet high and protect the soil underneath them from wind and rain erosion. These unheated tunnels provide enough extra warmth to extend the growing season up to 10 months in southeast Michigan for certain crops. These low-technology tools fit well into urban areas and can result in higher profits for growers along with increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables for the neighboring communities.

The City of Detroit – Wayne County Educational Initiative on Seasonal High Tunnels will produce a series of educational materials in 2014 to assist growers. Additionally there will be workserials to assist groweroveran.  These low technology tools can result in higher profits fro ghops starting mid-2014 covering the installation, management and maintenance of seasonal high tunnels along with the production and marketing of high tunnel crops. These trainings will help all growers involved in high tunnel production, especially those with new structures from the Wayne County Local Food Initiative. For more information on the educational resources available from the City of Detroit-Wayne County Educational Initiative, contact Jessica Simons, Project Coordinator at 517-851-2372.

There is also a wealth of research based online resources at the Michigan State University Hoophouse Website for high tunnel growers. The resources at this site include hoophouse manuals, do-it-yourself construction videos, a blog with postings from MSU Horticulture staff and the latest research on growing organic raspberries under high tunnels. These online resources along with the materials and workshops from the City of Detroit – Wayne County Educational Initiative on Seasonal High Tunnels should help ensure the success of the new hoophouse growers. For more information on hoophouse growing resources contact your local Michigan State University Extension office. 

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