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Undercover Farming: High Tunnels Extend the Growing Season

There’s a thick coat of snow on the ground, but Liz Graznak is harvesting lettuce, spinach, and other vegetables on her central Missouri farm in Jamestown.

Graznak grows certified organic produce at Happy Hollow Farm about a mile southwest of the Missouri River. She extended her growing season into the middle of winter by using a high tunnel, also known as a hoop house.

High tunnels enable horticulture producers to plant earlier in the spring and continue harvesting into or even through the winter, said James Quinn, a University of Missouri Extension horticulture specialist.

Quinn believes high tunnels will become a familiar part of the American agricultural landscape, the 21st-century equivalent of silos and red barns. They are already a common sight in many Asian and European countries.

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Posted on Feb 11, 2011.

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