Learn how to build a variety of season extension structures, and discover construction techniques for specialized features. You will find high tunnel construction plans, hoop house design and other high tunnel farming information.

The Basics of Season Extension Structures

construction of a high tunnel

Constructing a High Tunnel

This Rutgers University website includes a 61-image demonstration of high tunnel construction, with detailed information on site selection, design, cost and crop management.

Utah State University Cooperative Extension fact sheet

Constructing a Low-Cost High Tunnel

Specs, diagrams and photos of high tunnel construction, by Utah State University Cooperative Extension. Download File (2.57 MB)

West virginia University fact sheet

Design and Construction of a High Tunnel in West Virginia

Detailed information on hoop house or high tunnel construction, with specific considerations for West Virginia.Download File (794.24 kB)

high tunnels mannual

High Tunnels

This manual on using high tunnels or hoop houses for season extension includes case studies, a supplier list and chapters on marketing, site selection, construction and types, and soil, pest and environmental management.Download File (2.39 MB)

Kansas State high tunnel video series

Kansas State High Tunnel Video Series

This video series was developed by Kansas State Research and Extension, and includes segments on the following topics related to commercial high tunnel or hoop house production:

Overview | Design | What to Plant | Basic Management Considerations | Intensive Management | Resources

Winter Storage

screenshot from the winter production, storage and sales website

Expanding Winter Harvest and Sales for New England Vegetable Crops

This University of Massachusetts website offers resources on winter vegetable crop storage, marketing and low-cost season extension through structures such as hoop houses and low tunnels. 

carrots and radishes laying next to each other on a table

Walk-In Coolers for Winter Storage

Resources for farmers interested in on-farm winter storage options for season extension. Each resource offers a case study for a specific facility construction, and both outline important considerations for a winter storage facility.

Education Innovations article featuring two photos of harvests

Winter Storage Options for the Northeast

To help farmers in the Philadelphia area learn about various winter storage options, the nonprofit Fair Food conducted site visits of well-established winter storage operations in Pennsylvania, Vermont and Quebec.Download File (1.07 MB)

Other Design Considerations

Cover image of low cost cover bulletin

Comparing Four Ultra-Low-Cost Season Extension Structures on a Missouri Farm

This project compared winter production using four structures: EZ Build-n-Gro Cold Frames (Farmtek); cattle panel greenhouses; modified low tunnels; and standard small cold frames.Download File (1.39 MB)

Farmer and Rancher Innovations article featuring a photo of a greenhouse

New York Farmer Uses Hanging Gutters to Utilize Overhead Space in Hoop House

This project looked at increasing the productivity and cost effectiveness of growing more crops in a hoop house by utilizing the overhead space through innovative design.Download File (1.32 MB)

Rainwater Catchment from a High Tunnel for Irrigation Use

This Iowa State University video/fact sheet describes how to build a system to catch, store and reuse the rainwater for high tunnel irrigation.

High Tunnel Equipment Suppliers

An extensive list of high tunnel structure and equipment suppliers is available at Hightunnels.org.

Additional Resources on High Tunnel Structures

The following resources, which were not funded or produced by SARE, contain valuable information.

Building a Passive Solar Greenhouse (a University of Missouri webpage with design specs and other information)

Construction resources and equipment suppliers from Hightunnels.org

Greenhouse Site Selection (online article from Rodale Institute)

Hoop House How-To (a website of The Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture)

How to Build a Low-Cost Hoophouse, Hmong version and Spanish version (a video by the Spring Rose Growers Cooperative, of Madison, Wisc.)

Properties and Recommended Conditions for the Long-Term Storage of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (a University of California, Davis resource)