High tunnels are metal structures covered in plastic and usually unheated that offer the plants grown inside protection from wind, rain, frost, and, in some cases, pests and diseases. This protection can increase crop quality and extend the growing season for the farmer.
Most high tunnel production consists of inground growing (in some cases, year-round) of intensively planted, high–value crops grown. Crops grown in high tunnels include high–value vegetables, strawberries, brambles, grapes, and tree fruits. This type of growing requires an increase in management and labor and special attention to soil quality to address the unique growing conditions in the tunnel.
Many farmers view high tunnel production as essential to satisfying markets and for improved farm profitability. Learn more about high tunnel production in the practical ATTRA resources below.