Office of Research

Interested in growing veggies this winter?

Published November 21, 2011

Vegetable growers can learn how to extend their growing season at a special field day at Oak Tree Organics in Ashland on Dec. 12.

From 1 to 3:30 p.m., vegetable growers will learn how to use high tunnels, or hoophouses, to extend their growing season and improve the profitability of their farms.

"Many Illinois growers are using high tunnels for their spring, summer and fall harvest, but few have made the leap to using low tunnels for winter growing," said Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant, local food systems and small farms Extension educator.

Chad Wallace of Oak Tree Organics is hosting this field day at his farm to provide fellow vegetable growers with an opportunity to learn more about this low-cost way to grow crops during Illinois' harsh winters.

The field day will provide information about winter growing in low tunnels, including planting times; varieties suitable for growing during winter; construction and setup of tunnels at a low cost; care for and harvesting of winter crops; and marketing winter products.

Oak Tree Organics offers a wide variety of fresh produce, fruits and eggs. The farm has been providing naturally grown produce to the local farmer's market for seven years and offers weekly deliveries to the Springfield, Jacksonville and Petersburg areas. Wallace was awarded the R.J. Vollmer Sustainable Agriculture Farmer Award in 2010.

The cost is $15 for non-Central Illinois Sustainable Farming Network (CISFN) members to attend and no cost for CISFN members. Registration is available at For more information, contact Cavanaugh-Grant at 217-782-4617 or