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Expanding Our Horizons: The High Tunnel at Ephrata Farm

Hello again, friends and supporters of Ephrata Farm! We are thrilled to share an exciting update from our farm: the addition of a high tunnel. This new structure is a game-changer for us, allowing us to extend our growing season and enhance the quality of our produce. In this post, we’ll dive into what a high tunnel is, how it compares to a greenhouse, and the benefits it brings to our organic farming practices.

#### What is a High Tunnel?

A high tunnel, also known as a hoop house, is a structure designed to protect crops from adverse weather conditions and extend the growing season. Similar in function to a greenhouse, a high tunnel is typically constructed with metal hoops covered by a layer of polyethylene plastic. Unlike greenhouses, high tunnels are usually unheated and rely on passive solar energy to create a favorable growing environment.

#### High Tunnel vs. Greenhouse: What’s the Difference?

While high tunnels and greenhouses serve similar purposes, there are some key differences:

- **Structure and Cost**: High tunnels are simpler and more cost-effective to construct compared to greenhouses. They consist of a metal frame covered with plastic, while greenhouses often have more complex designs with additional features like ventilation systems and heating.

- **Heating**: Greenhouses are usually equipped with heating systems to maintain consistent temperatures year-round. High tunnels, on the other hand, use passive solar heating, relying on the sun’s energy to warm the interior.

- **Ventilation**: Ventilation in high tunnels is typically managed by rolling up the sides to allow air circulation. Greenhouses often have built-in ventilation systems to control temperature and humidity.

#### Benefits of Our High Tunnel

The addition of a high tunnel to [Your Farm's Name] brings numerous benefits that align with our commitment to sustainable and organic farming:

- **Extended Growing Season**: With the high tunnel, we can start planting earlier in the spring and continue harvesting later into the fall. This means a longer supply of fresh, organic produce for our community.

- **Weather Protection**: The high tunnel provides a shield against harsh weather conditions such as heavy rain, strong winds, and early frosts. This protection helps us maintain the quality and yield of our crops.

- **Improved Crop Quality**: The controlled environment within the high tunnel reduces stress on plants, leading to healthier and more productive crops. This results in better-tasting and more nutritious fruits and vegetables.

- **Pest Management**: The high tunnel acts as a barrier against many pests, reducing the need for pest control measures and ensuring our produce remains truly organic.

#### What We’re Growing in the High Tunnel

We’ve already started utilizing our high tunnel to grow a variety of crops. Here’s a glimpse of what’s thriving under its protective cover:

*Onions yellow


Peppers: yellow, red, green





*Green cabbage,

And broccoli


Butternut squash

Sweet potato organic squash


Cantaloupe melon

#### Supporting Our Mission

The high tunnel is not just an investment in our farm; it’s an investment in our community and our future nonprofit. By increasing our production capacity and extending the growing season, we can generate more revenue to support our mission. Profits from the farm will continue to fund our future nonprofit, which aims to provide free housing and comprehensive community support to vulnerable populations.

#### Thank You for Your Support

We are immensely grateful for your continued support and encouragement. The addition of the high tunnel marks a significant milestone for [Your Farm's Name], and we couldn’t have done it without you. Stay tuned for more updates, and we look forward to sharing the bounty of our high tunnel with you!

Warm regards,

Tsiltiyah Fogle

Ephrata Farm


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