High Tunnels or Hoop Houses

Hoop houses mustard
Hoop houses crop
hoop houses cucumbers
hoop houses
Hoop houses cherry tomatoes

CWRU Farm's original high tunnel (hoop house) was built in September 2010 thanks to the generosity of Bon Appetit Management Company. The high tunnel was designed and installed by Tunnel Vision Hoops, a Cuyahoga County organization. After getting a building permit from the Village of Hunting Valley, a new one was built in September 2011. It is currently situated at the east end of the greenhouse at Squire Valleevue.

The basic design is a long tunnel with domed ends that are tall enough to walk around in. Each end is retractable, allowing ample room for a tractor to enter and till. Much like the greenhouse, the high tunnel's purpose is to allow for an extended growing season by creating a more controlled environment. The average temperature inside the high tunnel is significantly higher than outside, and its ergonomic design, with roll-up, screened in side walls, allows for ventilation and temperature regulation. The plastic frame protects plants from both excessive sun and wind exposure, and allows for the growing of more delicate crops while also allowing for greater pest and insect control.

 

Hoop houses crop

In fall 2015, another structure was installed by the same company but with updated features including flat ends, doors upper ventilation and installation of raise beds and irrigation systems by the Farm staff.

Under the coordination of Dr. Joseph Koonce a monitoring system was installed in the high tunnels. This system allows continuous data collection on temperature and humidity for air and soil conditions.

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Resources

For more information see the following sources:

As with all endeavors at University Farm, the high tunnels also provides yet another opportunity for education and research.