Grant Award: $6,000
After many years of successful growing in permanent hoop houses, the Littmans experienced mineral and salt build up in their hoop house soils, which required remediation. In order to increase growing space and introduce a more sustainable practice on the farm – and without a drop in production while the hoop houses were being remediated – Ivy Creek Family Farm installed three new 100’ x 14’caterpillar tunnels, creating 4200 sq ft of additional covered growing space.
The tunnels are allowing for better management of all covered growing space through frequent crop rotation and semi-annual uncovering and drenching of soils and will lead to higher crop yields per sq ft, increasing farm profits. It also is allowing them to be more flexible in the produce they grow, which has been critical as they had to unexpectedly switch from selling wholesale to retail during the recent COVID-19 crisis, which eliminated most of their restaurant and commercial accounts. The ability to switch to a completely different business model was achievable because of the new tunnels that were funded by the WNC AgOptions grant