Idaho Falls farm installs new high tunnel

Idaho Falls’ Happyville Farm has a new season-extending high tunnel. It was funded through a $10,000 donation from the East Side and West Side Soil and Water Conservation districts. The high tunnel builds a new opportunity for outreach and education by the urban farm and the conservation districts.

The Soil and Water Conservation districts, Happyville Farm and Community Food Basket celebrated the new high-tunnel with a ribbon-cutting 1 p.m. Saturday at the farm, located at 600 S. Saturn Ave.
A high tunnel protects crops simialr to a greenhouse but is less permanent, less expensive and solar-powered. Happyville Farm, a nonprofit, volunteer-run farm, supplies fresh vegetables for donation at the Community Food Basket — Idaho Falls.

The kit for the metal-framed, double-poly structure arrived from Oregon Valley Greenhouses, the manufacturer, in late September, and the farm’s volunteers worked many evenings and weekend hours to get the 20-by-48 foot structure set up. “It’s already paying off,” said Claudia Pine, the farm’s director. “We’re setting up the beds inside for early planting in February.”

High tunnels have been slower to catch on in eastern Idaho, however, which is why the East Side and West Side Soil and Water Conservation districts decided to fund one at Happyville Farm.
“Putting this up in an urban setting makes it much more accessible for education and our project tours,” said Wade Beckman, West Side district chairman. Happyville Farm opened in 2020 on an acre leased from the city of Idaho Falls and is Idaho’s only urban, organic food bank farm. The farm and Community Food Basket are missions of the Regional Council for Christian Ministry, a longtime local nonprofit.
The new farm is already producing nearly 3,000 pounds of food annually.

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