Now available through Rural Action is “Season Creation: The Green Edge Model of Winter Growing,” developed in partnership with Green Edge Organic Gardens located in Amesville, Ohio and with funding from the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth, this is a 33 page manual that lays out in easy-to-read steps the years of knowledge that went into creating the Green Edge approach for producing and selling winter grown vegetables.
The term “season creation” highlights the differences between this model and standard “season extension” which only adds months of growing rather than creating and entire winter growing season.
Since 2004, Green Edge Gardens has used a system of 10 high tunnels – long, passively heated green houses with row cover inside – to produce and sell leafy greens and hardy winter vegetables to customers in Athens County and the greater Columbus region. The farm sells nearly 200 winter CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares in the winter, which includes high tunnel produce, mushrooms they grow on-farm and partner items from producers around Athens. Their year-round model allows the farm to employ a staff of 8 all year and hire part-time help and interns during the summer, making Green Edge one of the largest employers in Amesville and in Ames Township.
Contained in the manual are key aspects of Green Edge’s growing and business model laid out for growers interested in high tunnel use for year-round production, as well as sustainable agriculture educators looking to better serve their regions with knowledge of high tunnel use.
Sections include key infrastructure to use, crop selection and planting, marketing breakdown, recommended suppliers and more. The manual is available for $18, and for $40 includes a companion how-to video as well as Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) video.Proceeds will benefit both Rural Action and Green Edge Organic Gardens.