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Colby High Tunnel Workshop and Low Tunnel Giveaway by the Kansas Rural Center

August 31, 2014 @ 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm


As part of the Kansas Rural Center’s “Tunnel to Table” workshop series, this event will offer experienced and beginning vegetable and fruit growers critical information on applying polytunnels – such as high tunnels and low tunnels – as strategic tools for Kansas farms. Workshop participants who register by Tuesday, August 26, 2014, may apply to receive a free low tunnel.

Strategically applied, polytunnels can help extend the growing season, increase crop protection from extreme weather and pests, and increase quality, yield, and income from vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers. Tunnel to Table workshop participants will receive critical information and resources for assessing which polytunnel strategies may (or may not) contribute to the success of their current or future specialty crop operations.

The Colby workshop will take place on Sunday afternoon, August 31, 2014 – from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.. The event will begin at The Prairie Museum and then move to a nearby farm.  

A registration fee of $15 includes workshop materials, plus beverages and locally-sourced snacks. Registration information, low tunnel giveaway applications, and event details are available by clicking the button below, or by contacting Cole Cottin, Kansas Rural Center Program Coordinator, at ccottin@kansasruralcenter.org or 785-992-4572.

Colby August 31–View Agenda & Register Now!


What happens at a Tunnel to Table Workshop?

Each event offers…

– dynamic presentations from and an opportunity to dialogue with experienced Kansas high tunnel producers and farm service providers;

– an interactive tour of an established tunnel operation (each host farm is quite different – see descriptions below);

– grower-to-grower networking opportunities; and

– unique take-home educational materials produced specifically for these events

– the opportunity to tour and learn from a unique farm with established polytunnel systems (see details below).

Workshop presentations and round-table discussions featuring area growers will cover…

– Kansas-specific polytunnel structure considerations,

-production and marketing strategies,

– economics of tunnel production, and

– solutions to common region-specific challenges.

It’s not just about high tunnels…

The workshop closes with a hands-on demonstration of low tunnel construction and demonstration of how these low-cost and easy to construct structures can offer Kansas crops ample protection and significantly increase the harvest season.

Low tunnels offer an inexpensive entry point to polytunnel production, while providing many of the benefits offered by high tunnels. While plastic covered low tunnels extend the growing season into the winter months and allow for a jump start on spring production, other low tunnels options can benefit crops throughout the whole growing season. For example, fabric row cover can provide low tunnel crops with additional warmth and help exclude pests, and shade cloth covered low tunnels allow for season extension of cool season crops into the hot summer. Used inside of a high tunnel, low tunnels double the cold protection and enable extensive overwintering of cold hardy crops.


Low Tunnel Giveaway

Early-bird workshop registrants are eligible to apply to receive approximately 500 square feet of free low tunnel infrastructure, valued at around $200. Thirteen workshop participants will go home with custom-bent metal hoops, a 10’x 100’ roll of 6-mil greenhouse plastic, and row cover (insect barrier) to provide a physical barrier, protecting crops from insect damage. Anyone who registers for these workshops by August 26 is eligible for the giveaway – women, minorities, and limited-resource farmers are especially encouraged to apply.


Farm Tour

Sharing the Bounty, LLC, a five-acre farm located eight miles southwest of Colby, will be open to Tunnel to Table participants the evening of August 31, 2014 – after workshop presentations and round-table discussions at The Prairie Museum. Starting in 2006, Duane and Jo Cheney began providing a variety of vegetables, herbs, and eggs to Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) customers. They have continued to increase production and now grow within seven high tunnels (six of which are homemade), allowing them to significantly extend the growing season and increase yields. In 2012, the Cheney’s joined the High Plains Food Co-op, greatly expanding their customer base.

Colby August 31–View Agenda & Register Now!

The most up-to-date information on Tunnel to Table efforts is available at: http://kansasruralcenter.org/category/tunnel-to-table/, or by contacting Program Coordinator Cole Cottin at ccottin@kansasruralcenter.org or 785-992-4572.


August 31, 2014
1:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Cole Cottin and Dan Phelps – Kansas Rural Center


Sharing the Bounty, LLC
Colby, KS United States + Google Map