Cleveland Urban Agriculture Project’s Summer Training Build

July 12-14, 2013 was another action-packed weekend in Cleveland for Fair Food Network staff and community partners. The Cleveland Urban Agriculture team co-hosted high tunnel/hoop house training build #2 for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) urban farmers—this time building not one, but two hoop houses!

Photo: Bridget Caswell Photography

These hoop houses, steel and plastic unheated structures covering the ground to protect produce from weather, will allow Cleveland’s urban farmers and their community to extend the growing seasons and provide more healthy, fresh, locally grown produce to their neighbors and friends.

Photo: Bridget Caswell Photography

EQIP participants and over 50 volunteers gained hands-on experience building the houses from start to finish with the chance to ask questions and lend their skills and energy to the build. Volunteers and staff from Ohio State University Extension, Federation of Southern Cooperatives, Farm Credit Services of Mid-America, Wells Fargo Advisors, LB Construction LLC, Bee All You Can Bee, and many more helped make this build a great success. Special thanks to the NRCS, Cleveland Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) and the City of Cleveland for bringing EQIP federal financial assistance to Cuyahoga County’s urban farmers!

Farm Credit volunteers arrive to help the team.
Photo: Bridget Caswell Photography

Urban farmer and EQIP participant, Jamel Rahkeera, and his bee keeper/small business-owner wife, LaWanda, are thrilled with the addition of the tunnel to the site and look forward to a longer, more productive growing season!

Hoop House Consultant Adam Montri up in the rafters
Photo: Bridget Caswell Photography

Next Steps

On August 10th, from 12-6PM, Fair Food Network will host a High Tunnel Production Workshop at Cleveland’s Rice Library Branch (11535 Shaker Boulevard). This classroom-based workshop will cover all topics related to year-round high tunnel production and marketing.

The day will begin at the library and move on-site to Kinsman Farm for hands-on irrigation and composting lessons. Attendees are encouraged to come with questions and leave ready to jump into high tunnel farming! For more information and to RSVP, please email Liz Kohn at

Additional Project Background

Please see Cleveland Urban Agriculture for more information.