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AKRON, Ohio – The Akron Urban League will hold an open house for its new high tunnel greenhouse June 26 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 440 Vernon Odom Blvd.

The event will feature speakers, a DJ, tours and a pop-up market with specialty foods available for purchase, along with giveaways for the first 50 attendees.

The high tunnel is the 100th such structure in Ohio provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service. The high tunnel, also known as a hoop house, is designed to lengthen the growing season by protecting plants from sun, wind, cold temperatures and excessive rain. Additional benefits include enhanced plant and soil quality and less need for nutrients and pesticides, according to the USDA website.

Produce grown in the 32-by-72-foot structure will be offered to community members, community meals, food pantries, the Summit Lake Neighborhood Farmer’s Market and Let’s Grow Akron Community Farm Market, according to Lisa Nunn, executive director of Let’s Grow Akron. The Akron Urban League partnered with Let’s Grow Akron for the initiative. The project was funded in part by the Knight Foundation.

“This is a great community benefit to provide fresh foods. What Lisa Nunn and her team have done with the high tunnel is amazing. We are so appreciative of their partnership and expertise,” Akron Urban League President and CEO Teresa LeGrair said in a release.

Produce to be harvested this season include: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, lettuce, spinach, arugula, collards, kale, Asian greens, beets, turnips, onions, carrots, zucchini, squash and cucumbers, according to Nunn.

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