Frostburg Grows and University of Maryland Extension are offering a two session hands-on high tunnel construction workshop on Friday, October 25th and Saturday October 26th. The Friday session will run from 6pm to 9pm on the Frostburg State University Campus in room 237 of the Compton Science Center. The first session will cover the different types of high tunnels, construction methods and modifications made to high tunnels. On Saturday, participants will travel to the Frostburg Grows site to assist with the construction of a basic high tunnel.
In addition to assisting with the construction of a typical high tunnel, participants will be able to see first hand many modifications that are being used at the Frostburg Grows site. Frostburg Grows is a unique and innovative five acre food and native plant nursery production, demonstration and teaching facility. The facility currently has a 30’ X 120’ high tunnel in production with tomatoes, peppers and raspberries and a nursery shade house growing native plants from seeds and cuttings. A second 30’ X 120’ high tunnel is nearing completion and will be used for fall and early winter food production with crops such as broccoli, lettuce and other greens.
The Frostburg Grows facility is unique in that it is being constructed on a reclaimed strip mine site. Some of the unique features of the site include:
- All water for the plants is collected from the tunnels via gutters and stored in large tanks constructed from recycled state highway sign materials
- Electricity for the site is provided by solar panels and the site uses 12 volt pumps for irrigation.
- All plants are being grown in containers or raised beds.
- A solar thermal heating system is being added to one high tunnel to further extend the growing season.
- An onsite composting facility will eventually produce the growing media for the plants.
Initial funding for Frostburg Grows was provided through a Potomac Highlands Implementation Grant provided by American Rivers and the EPA. Western Maryland Resource Conservation and Development Council and Frostburg State University have partnered to manage the Frostburg Grows project.
To register for the workshop, contact the Garrett County office of the University of Maryland Extension at 301-334-6960. There will be a $25 fee for the workshop which can be paid at the time of the workshop. For more information contact Willie Lantz at 301-334-6960.
The University of Maryland Extension programs are open to any person and will not discriminate against anyone because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry, national origin, marital status, genetic information, political affiliation, and gender identity or expression.