High tunnels are structures made of plastic or metal pipe and covered with plastic or other sheeting. Easy to build and maintain, they provide an energy-efficient way to extend the growing season. Unlike greenhouses, they require no energy, relying on natural sunlight to modify the climate inside to create favorable conditions for growing vegetable and other specialty crops.
NRCS offered the high tunnels (also called “high tunnel system for crops”) as a conservation practice for the first time in Fiscal Year 2010 as part of a three-year trial to determine their effectiveness in conserving water, keeping nutrients in the soil, increasing yields, and reducing transport of agricultural pesticides.
In an earlier video Randy Pierce of Bozeman, Montana, showcased the high tunnel he and his wife installed in early June, 2010. In this video produced six years later, he talks about the lessons they have learned, adjustments they have made, and some important considerations for those interested in getting started with a high tunnel.
Source: Montana NRCS