Construction of High Tunnels: Resources for Organic Farmers

eOrganic authors:

Kristin Pool, Oregon State University

Alex Stone, Oregon State University


High tunnels, also called high hoops or hoop houses, are temporary structures that extend the growing season. These covered structures are constructed in the field in order to protect crops from the weather (rain, wind, cool or warm temperatures) and, in some cases, pests. High tunnels offer an intermediate level of environmental control—a growing system between row covers and greenhouses. In comparison to greenhouses, they are unheated, provide less climate control, and are less expensive. This article lists publications and videos on high tunnel construction.

The most important issues to consider before constructing a high tunnel are:

  1. Purpose of the tunnel in the farming system
  2. Budget available
  3. Location

Once these issues have been addressed, the next step is to learn about the diverse designs and materials available and select those that best fit the purpose, budget, and location.  

High Tunnel Construction Resources

More permanent / more expensive models

Figure 1. Suzy Evans of Foundhorn Gardens in Oregon shows off her peppers grown in a permanent high tunnel. Figure credit: Robelee Evans, Foundhorn Gardens, Oregon.

 Less permanent / less expensive models

Figure 2. Low cost, movable tunnel under construction. Figure credit: Tim Coolong, University of Kentucky.


    Published January 18, 2009

    This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.