Penn State Extension High Tunnel Alliance Urban Sustainability Forum

Posted: April 9, 2012

Last month, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University’s Urban Sustainability Forum highlighted the ways in which Philadelphia’s high tunnel farms contribute to the food security of our neighborhoods. At the event, Penn State Extension Master Gardeners and 4-H staff shared their knowledge and presented program information to colleagues and friends while mingling with the near capacity audience.
SHARE's High Tunnel

SHARE's High Tunnel

The Penn State Extension High Tunnel Alliance is spearheaded by Professor Bill Lamont and is successfully supported by Penn State Extension Philadelphia.  A dozen high tunnels, solar passive plasticulture structures, are feeding and educating the city through the dark days of winter, earlier in the spring and later into the fall.


This season extension technology is proving to be a much touted and valued growing tool. This year alone, high tunnel partners grew over 8,000 pounds of food, infusing $1.75 per pound into the Philadelphia economy.


Adults and children alike gape when entering a lushly planted tunnel dewy with temperatures as high as 85 while the chill winds wail outside. Institutions as diverse as senior homes wanting to feed their constituents and flower growers hoping to improve their bottom line are queuing up in hopes of obtaining a high tunnel for their property.


Through its Extension efforts Penn State, Pennsylvania’s land grant university, has brought its expertise in agricultural sciences to the urban landscape and the city slickers are eating it up and asking for more.  For more information on the Penn State Extension High Tunnel Alliance, please go to: