“We have educational exhibits each week, as well as a variety of vendors, and music and children’s activities. We hope to continue to grow the market and make it a recruiting tool for the university as well as a gathering place for the university and Knoxville community,” she said.
In addition, the university initiated food safety trainings in 2009, and has since trained more than 500 growers and workers and more than 50 extension agents in worker health and hygiene, writing food safety plans. The program has also helped prepare these individuals by conducting mock audits, according to Wszelaki.
Other projects include a season extension project with Washington State University and Texas A&M.
“We are looking at how biodegradable mulches behave (break down) and perform, both inside and outside of high tunnels. And also, the performance of varieties of high-value crops (lettuce, tomato and strawberry) inside and outside the tunnels,” Wszelaki said.
The study is in its third year and has revealed several developments of the use of these hoop-shaped temporary frames covered in clear plastic, according to publications from the project.