• Samia Savell of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to give presentation in Sitka on high tunnels


Picture10Want to learn how to extend your growing season with high tunnels and find out how Sitka growers can receive help from the USDA to purchase a high tunnel? Samia Savell of the Juneau office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will give a presentation from 5-6 p.m. on Thursday, July 10, at Harrigan Centennial Hall.

In recent years, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has offered a cost-sharing program that enables qualifying landowners who produce food to build high tunnels. Samia has overseen that program for Southeast Alaska, and several gardeners in Sitka have taken advantage of the program.

High tunnels, also known as hoop houses or temporary greenhouses, extend the growing season so more food is produced before and after the traditional dates for growing stuff outdoors. High tunnels are different than greenhouses in that they are passively heated by the sun, so they have lower energy costs than greenhouses. High tunnels are at least six-feet tall, and low tunnels aren’t eligible in this program. Food in high tunnels is planted either directly into the ground or in raised beds.

For more information about the presentation, contact Sitka Local Foods Network Board President Lisa Sadleir-Hart at 747-5985. To learn more about the USDA NRCS high tunnel program, contact Samia Savella at the Juneau field office at (907) 586-7220 or samia.savell@ak.usda.gov.