Have you experimented with season extending growing practices yet? We are hearing great things throughout the region about the economic and practical successes of the growers who are “Growing Under Cover” -- utilizing hoop houses or high tunnels. Through a series of trainings in Alabama- organized by Southern SAWG and funded by USDA's Risk Management Agency, several Deep South farmers who are new to high tunnel production, are learning how to increase their farm profits using high tunnels. Training participants are receiving a mix of classroom and on-farm field trainings at farms around the state.
One recent training was held at a farm that is growing collards to sell wholesale. Collards are not exactly what you’d expect as a value-added or specialty crop, nor for a high tunnel crop, since they are not very high dollar and grow perfectly well outdoors. But, in their area there is a ready market for collards and those buyers chop and package collards for retail sales to markets and local schools. With the help of Tuskegee researcher, Victor Kahn (pictured above), the farmers have learned how to plant the collards intensely and harvest them repeatedly, in order to maximize their profits.