SDSU Extension to feature Beadle Conservation District at High Tunnel Field Days
BROOKINGS – South Dakota State University Extension will feature the Beadle (County) Conservation District at its final High Tunnel Field Day of 2023.
Perfect for farmers, technical service providers, gardeners and anyone curious about high tunnels, the field day is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. CDT on Sept. 21, 2023, at the Beadle Conservation District site, 1174 Lincoln Ave. SW, Huron. It is free to attend.
Presenters include Kristine Lang, assistant professor and SDSU Extension Consumer Horticulture Specialist; Rhoda Burrows, professor and SDSU Extension Horticulture Specialist; and Beadle Conservation District representatives Robin Viestenz and Mark Goldhammer. They will share urban farm and high tunnel production challenges and opportunities for central South Dakota.
The site is 4 ½ acres and is managed by the Beadle Conservation District. Its management and urban setting make it a unique place to visit, Lang said.
“An urban farm setting creates new opportunities for markets and public engagement, but it also creates new challenges with zoning, security and farm management,” Lang said. “I’m excited to host this event in Huron so people in the central part of South Dakota can gather. I’m thrilled to partner with Robin, her team and board members.”
The field day will include a tour of the high tunnel, along with presentations on planning, zoning and construction considerations; crop rotations and soil health management; and vegetable and perennial fruit production.
Lang said the site weathered the derechos in May and June 2022 that caused significant damage across eastern South Dakota. The site managers will share their experiences recovering after the storms and what they learned about repairing high tunnels.
A high tunnel, also known as a “hoop house,” is a protective structure used to extend the growing season and improve the quality of produce. Unlike a greenhouse, plants in a high tunnel are still grown directly in the soil.
An increasingly popular option for vegetable and flower growers, high tunnels offer a less expensive alternative to greenhouses.
Registration is not required. Light refreshments will be served following the tour and presentations. The event will be held rain or shine. Signs will direct visitors to parking upon arrival at the event. Attendees are encouraged to bring a lawn chair. Please do not bring pets.
High tunnel material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under agreement number 2022-38640-37486 through the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program under project number ENC22-216. USDA is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. Visit www.NorthCentralSARE.org.