- Fruits: berries (strawberries)
- Production Systems: general crop production
In the remote Wallowa Valley of northeastern Oregon, a short growing season punctuated with sporadic frosts limits production of fresh local produce to only a few small-scale producers who market only during a narrow window.
This Farmer/Rancher grant will assess growing small fruits and vegetables in season-extending hoop houses. Earlier tests have shown that fruits and vegetables can be grown in these structures for 10 months of the year and that demand at farmers markets and restaurants outstripped supply. Success will expand the options for providing locally produced food, especially important for school, hospital and senior citizen food programs.
By learning about the crops and techniques for growing them, farmers can extend their income-producing periods and potentially offer employment. Providing local food will not only improve the nutrition of residents, it will help connect them with their food sources.