New Resource for the Four-Season Farmer

Checking out neighbor Rick's four-season greenhouse design. Photo/Dave Ciolli
The Sustainable Agriculture and Resource Education (SARE) group recently launched a new  Season Extension Topic Room offering oodles of resources for the four-season farmer.  The web address is a one-stop collection of dozens of guidebooks, curricula, webinars, bulletins and other how-to materials to help farmers, educators and researchers across the country implement effective season-extension strategies.

We're particularly excited about the new topic room, as we prepare to create our own hoop house/greenhouse next month that will allow us to provide the community with fresh greens from early spring through early winter (yes, even in the tundra of the North Country!). SARE's free advice, tutorials, and in-depth information is giving us all the tools we need to make our vision a reality.

Information products in the Season Extension Topic Room derive from SARE-funded research and education projects, and are organized according to key topic areas: Overview; Types and Construction; Variety Trials and Selection; Fertility Management; Pest Management; Water Management; Energy; and Marketing and Economics. While the Season Extension Topic Room includes extensive information on high tunnels (also known as hoop houses), some materials also address greenhouse and nursery production, low tunnels and winter storage.

Examples of what the Season Extension Topic Room offers:
Recognizing the role that high tunnels can play in diversifying farmer income while meeting growing consumer demand for local food, NRCS offers grants that help pay for high tunnel construction. In 2010, its first year, the program led to the construction of 2,400 structures in 43 states in 2010.

The Season Extension Topic Room will be updated with new resources as they become available. Check out the page here:

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.