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Farmers Explore Hoop House and Greenhouse Technologies

CONTACT: Kathleen Beauregard,
Projects, Grants and Communications Coordinator
Phone: (207) 778-7528
Date: April 3, 2006



“Extending the Harvest, Part II – Farming the Back of the Calendar” is planned for
Saturday, April 29, 9:00 – 2:00 PM at Church Street Commons in Farmington. The free
workshop is planned for farmers seeking to extend their growing season with unheated and
heated hoop house and greenhouse technologies.

“We know we can only satisfy consumer demand for locally grown foods to a certain
extent at present, even with winter storage systems. We still need a supply of fresh greens
and other produce through the winter and we can have them with relatively simple and
inexpensive hoop house and greenhouse production methods,” said Paula Day,
Coordinator of the Eat Smart-Eat Local project.

Workshop presenters are: Dr. Mark Hutton from the University of Maine’s Highmoor
Farm who will discuss low-cost, unheated hoop house construction and production
methods; David Blanchard, co-owner of Flying Pond Farm in Vienna, who produces salad
greens throughout the winter months in heated hoop houses; and Arie Vandergiessen,
Chief Operating Officer at U.S. Functional Foods, the company constructing the 24 acre
greenhouse facility in Madison for the year-round production of vine ripe tomatoes. Arie
will share his experiences in Holland where home-scale greenhouse production is common
throughout the winter months.

The first of a planned series of workshops designed to help move Franklin and Somerset
Counties toward a sustainable local food system was held in Skowhegan in February.
More than 30 producers from around the state attended to hear presenters discuss ways to
extend the marketing season for root crops by constructing simple on-farm storage
systems. A video/CD of the workshop is available from Western Mountains Alliance.
There was considerable enthusiasm expressed for a unified marketing effort on behalf of
our farmers. Come and we’ll continue the dialogue.

“Extending the Harvest Part II – Farming the Back of the Calendar”
Using Hoop House and Greenhouse Innovations
Saturday, April 29, 2006
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Church St. Commons, Farmington

Please call 696-8044, or e-mail WMA@maine.edu, to register. A light lunch will be
available. The workshop is part of the Eat Smart–Eat Local project of Western Mountains
Alliance and Maine Alternative Agriculture Association.

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