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Saturday, April 5, 2014

10:00AM to 4:00 PM CST

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Juniper Hill Farms 
1547 N 2000 Road
Lawrence, KS 66044

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Cole Cottin 
Kansas Rural Center 








KRC's Spring 'Tunnel to Table'

Polytunnel Workshop

Farmers of any scale or experience level, as well as farmer-educators, farm service providers, and others interested in using high tunnels and low tunnels for food or flower production may now register to attend the Spring 2014 Tunnel to Table Workshop to be held this April at Juniper Hill Farms in Lawrence, Kansas. This is the first in a series of statewide Tunnel to Table workshops. Event details follow.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Juniper Hill Farms, Lawrence, KS

1547 N 2000 Road 

Cost to attend is $15 which includes materials & lunch. 

The April event will feature producer-led presentations and dynamic roundtable discussions on topics ranging from: structural options for low and high tunnels, overcoming common tunnel production challenges, crop planning, financial analysis, and practical advancements in polytunnel technology.

The day will also provide an opportunity to network with resource providers and other growers, and will include a high tunnel tour and low tunnel construction demonstration with farmer host Scott Thellman, owner/operator of Juniper Hill Farms, and Dan Phelps, Tunnel to Table Activity Coordinator.

Juniper Hill Farms is located just north of Lawrence, Kansas, and produces over 900 acres of hay and alfalfa alongside four acres of diverse year-round organic vegetables. Scott Thellman - a first generation farmer and senior student of agricultural business at Iowa State University - manages Juniper Hill with a great deal of professionalism. “We schedule plantings on each of our tunnels’ five beds at the beginning of the year to ensure adequate supply of our products to markets on a weekly basis,” explains Thellman, “Beds are planted weekly, biweekly, or monthly based on historical yield/ production/ sales data compiled on farm to ensure the highest profitability and maximum efficiency within each structure.”

“Anyone looking to polytunnels as a lucrative farm enterprise would benefit from this workshop,” asserts Thellman, who intends to share crop planning strategies and a detailed financial analysis with workshop participants. “Hightunnel production is not as easy, profitable, or beneficial as you might think,” he explains. “You really need to crunch your financial figures to ensure success. Without the proper planning and preparations, you will more than likely not meet your annual projections or make a meaningful return on your investment.”

Phelps adds, “There is a real opportunity for Kansas farmers to strategically employ polytunnels to ramp-up production and increase year round sales of specialty crops. The local and regional demand is strong; Kansas farmers should seize their market share.” Of the $760 million Kansans spend annually on fruits and vegetables only 4 percent are produced in-state.

A registration fee of $15 per person includes workshop materials and lunch. See registration page for details.

The most up-to-date information on the Tunnel to Table workshop series is available at the project’s landing page at: or by contacting Program Coordinator, Cole Cottin at or 785-992-4572.  

Kansas growers with experience using polytunnels of any type are encouraged to complete the Tunnel to Table growers survey, still available at

This project of the Kansas Rural Center is made possible through support from the Kansas Department of Agriculture and Farm Aid. The Kansas Rural Center is a non-profit organization that since 1979 has promoted the long-term health of the land and its people through research, education, and advocacy that advances economically viable, ecologically sound, and socially just food and farming systems. For more information about the Kansas Rural Center visit