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Community Agricultural Programs & Urban Food Hubs

High Tunnels & Raised Beds

Carol M. Highsmith, photographer. Urban garden on Philadelphia, Pennsylvania's, artsy South Street, this stretch of which is known for its "bohemian," "punk," and "alternative" atmosphere and diverse mix of eclectic shops. 2019. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

To extend your program’s growing season, consider using either high tunnels or greenhouses. Across the United States, farmers are discovering the benefits of high tunnels. High tunnels protect plants from severe weather and allow growers to extend their growing seasons. Typically, they are made of polyethylene, plastic or fabric that cover hoop-like structures. One of the many benefits of high tunnels is that they are inexpensive and easy to build.

High tunnels can also provide shelter for plants grown in raised beds. The term "raised bed" refers to a relatively small but elevated box that is filled with enough soil to support plants without using the soil underneath the box.

The resources and web sites below and those in the Greenhouses and Green Roofs will provide guidance and resources. However, check agricultural extensions and resources provide by Master Gardening programs for more information as they will often provide guidance that is relevant to local areas.

Selected Books

The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to digital content are provided when available.