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Learn about hydroponic tomato production and strawberry plasticulture during twilight meeting

Strawberries grown through plasticulture production.

Cobden, Ill. – Bill Bass of Bass Farms is teaming up with University of Illinois Extension to host the first of four twilight meetings at his farm on Monday, May 15, 2023, starting at 6 p.m. Illinois Extension Educators Bronwyn Aly, Nathan Johanning, and Katie Bell have partnered with area farmers over the past nine years to provide four evening “twilight meetings” to highlight and demonstrate diverse farming enterprises across southern Illinois.

The Bass family has a long history in agriculture production, raising fruits and vegetables, livestock, and row crops in southern Illinois for over 50 years. Operating as a diversified family farm, each production area encompasses about one-third of their total farming enterprise. With a focus on providing fresh, high-quality produce directly to local consumers, Bass Farms’ main crops include strawberries, tomatoes, blueberries, blackberries, and peppers, all grown on about 30 acres. 

Bass will share lessons learned in the last 20 years of growing plasticulture strawberries and hydroponic greenhouse tomatoes. He will focus on production practices within his greenhouse structure and the plasticulture strawberry fields, including his experiences with variety selection, fertility, and pest management. Bass will also discuss why they invested in hydroponic greenhouse tomato production and how it has impacted the farm’s retail marketing strategy. 

Participants will meet north of the farm stand at their greenhouse, which is located at the intersection of U.S. 51 and Cobden School Rd. in Cobden, Illinois. There is no cost to attend this in-person program, but pre-registration is appreciated. To register online, visit To register by phone, call (618) 695-2441.

About Extension

Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities. Illinois Extension is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences.