Welcome to Groundswell


Groundswell’s mission
is to help youth and adult learners develop the skills and knowledge they need to build sustainable local food systems. Our focus is providing hands-on, experiential learning opportunities with real working farms and food businesses in the Ithaca area. Through collaboration with area schools, colleges and universities, Groundswell offers programs of study for beginning farmers, students, community members, and professionals.

Groundswell is an initiative of the EcoVillage Center for Sustainability Education in Ithaca, NY, which is a project of the Center for Transformative Action. Visit the Groundswell website to learn more about our programs, initiatives and resources.

Thursday, November 13

High Tunnels Year Round!


Groundswell, CCE and local Mentor Farmers are teaming up to offer a new season-long course on growing, managing and marketing high tunnel crops.

At Plowbreak Farm, diverse greens are planted in the high
tunnels in September right after the tomatoes are pulled up. They
will be marketed through the fall and winter.

High tunnels are becoming a must have tool for produce farmers looking to extend the season in spring and fall, and to protect crops from weather, pests and disease during the growing season.   If you are considering the purchase of a high tunnel or want to become more proficient at using tunnels you have, this series is for you.

Introduction to High Tunnels Workshop, February 9, 2015
An Introduction to High Tunnels Workshop will be held on MONDAY, February 9, from 1-4 PM at Good Life Farm in Interlaken. Judson Reid, Cooperative Extension Vegetable Crops Specialist and growers Melissa Madden of Good Life Farm and Evangeline Sarat of Sweet Land Farm will co-teach this session.  Come early at noon for soup and informal conversation with other growers. In addition, Patrick Barry from USDA NRCS will talk about funding for tunnels.  

The February overview session is a stand-alone, introductory-level workshop. To register for the overview class on Feb. 9, call Cooperative Extension, 607-272-2292 or email mr55@cornell.edu. There is a $5 charge for this class. 

Year-Round High Tunnels Course, March – November 2015 
For those looking for more in-depth technical training, a 27-hour Year-Round High Tunnels Course will be offered, patterned after Groundswell’s popular farmer-designed course in Holistic Organic Orchard Management. Sessions will be held on the second Sunday of each month, March through November. Each session will be held at a different farm, highlighting diverse production systems.  Host farmers and Cornell Cooperative Extension educators will address the full range of production and management issues including: soil fertility, pest and disease management, varieties, economics, marketing, and crop-specific practices for tomatoes, greens and fruit. 

To accommodate changes in daylight hours, our March and April classes will run from 1-4 PM; then from May through November, classes will run from 4-7 PM. The list of topics and host farms will be finalized in early December.

Class size is limited so please register early!
Full tuition for the Year-Round High Tunnels Course is $435. Tuition assistance is available for those with financial limitations. To register and to apply for tuition assistance contact info@groundswellcenter.org.

2015 Year-Round High Tunnels Course schedule:

  • March 8, 1-4 PM
  • April 12, 1-4 PM
  • May 10, 4-7 PM
  • June 14, 4-7 PM
  • July 12, 4-7 PM
  • Sept. 13, 4-7 PM
  • Oct. 11, 4-7 PM
  • Nov. 8, 4-7 PM

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