As he described the efforts he takes to extend every growing season as best he can, Chris Duke talked about the lessons he had learned from participating in a UW-Madison Extension study to discover ways to better make use of high tunnel greenhouses over the winter.
Winter high tunnel project
Jason Fischbach, an agriculture agent based in Bayfield County, said the Extension had set up a two-year project at the behest of regional farmers to test the viability of using greenhouses left idle over the winter to produce cold-hardy vegetables such as spinach between November and March.
The Washburn and Drummond school districts and Duke’s Great Oak Farm participated in the study by testing whether heating and lighting greenhouses affected yield. In the meantime, River Road Farm near Marengo experimented with different varieties of spinach, Fischbach said.