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Southeast Michigan RC&D Council

City of Detroit - Wayne Co. Seasonal High Tunnel Educational Initiative

City of Detroit - Wayne Co. Seasonal High Tunnel Educational Initiative

Don't Miss Out!
Join us for the 2015 hoophouse workshops.
See the full schedule of events for this year.

Coming up: Two Events in One Day - Monday, May 18, 2015

At least twelve volunteers are needed to complete a local hoophouse construction project! Our recent demonstration build at Ortega Urban Farm was a great success, but we have a bit more work to do to wrap up the installation. Come help to install the plastic cover and finishing touches on the hoophouse! Please RSVP if you plan to attend so that we can ensure that we have an adequate number of volunteers available.

Monday, May 18th - 11:00 am

Ortega Urban Farm
6407 Julian Street
Detroit, MI


Hear from experienced growers as they talk about marketing, pricing, and choosing crops that are winners. This panel will feature three local, experienced growers talking about their successes, failures, and the best practices that work for them. Discussion points will include market research, best crops for using in high tunnels, proven frameworks for crop scheduling and rotation, long-term hoophouse operations, succession and planning, marketing the story of your farm and practices, product presentation, and other strategies for season extension.

Monday, May 18th - 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Ohana Gardens
38 Church
Highland Park, MI

All local farmers, food organizations, community groups, and other interested people are invited. Please help us to spread the word. This event is free.

Refreshments will be served and limited space is available. Please contact Jessica Simons for more information and/or to RSVP at 517-851-2372 or via email. You may also register online. Registration is encouraged, but not required. Please feel free circulate this information widely within your own networks.

The City of Detroit - Wayne County Seasonal High Tunnel Educational Initiative aims to improve the outlook for agricultural producers in the most urban area of Michigan. Working through funding from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Council will provide workshops and technical assistance to local producers in an effort to extend the growing season and increase the availability of locally grown fruits and vegetables in Detroit.

Since late 2009, NRCS has been leading a Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative (SHT) as a part of its Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The EQIP program provides landowners with financial and technical assistance to conduct voluntary practices that will improve soil, water, plant, animal, air, energy conservation, and related resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland. The SHT initiative brings this same financial and technical assistance to support installation and management of seasonal high tunnels/hoophouses in agricultural production. The use of high tunnels has been shown to produce many important benefits that could support both economic development and access to healthy food in the Detroit - Wayne County region, including:

  • Extended growing season,
  • Enhanced local food production,
  • Lowered transportation burdens, 
  • Reduction of inputs of nutrients and/or pesticides,
  • Improved product quality,
  • Improved soil and air quality, and
  • New business opportunities, particularly for new and limited-resource farmers.

Throughout 2015, the Southeast Michigan RC&D Council will again be bringing together the area's agricultural producers, local food advocates, and community organizations to build partnerships around this issue and will produce a series of educational materials to provide valuable information to local producers. In addition, the team will conduct workshops throughout 2015 to address the following:

  • Production and marketing of crops grown in seasonal high tunnels,
  • Installation of seasonal high tunnels, and
  • Management and maintenance of seasonal high tunnels.

Stay informed of news and workshop announcements for this project:

For more information about the seasonal high tunnels educational programming, please contact:
Jessica Simons, Project Coordinator, via email or phone at 517-851-2372

For more information about NRCS EQIP in southeastern Michigan, please contact:
NRCS Ann Arbor Service Center.

Additional Resources:

Please see the resources page for more information on USDA - NRCS programs and assistance, community resources, other training programs and events, hoophouse educational resources, vendor and provider lists, and local expertise.

Photos courtesy of the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, the City of Detroit, and StOrmz.

The USDA is an equal opportunity employer and provider.