At Catawba College‘s Center for the Environment are developing two urban agriculture initiatives: a green roof for the science building and a new high efficiency greenhouse.
The college is using a high efficiency Suncatcher greenhouse that deals with the problem of traditional greenhouses getting too hot in the summer and require heating from fossil fuels in the winter. They strive for a zero carbon operating greenhouse, enabling year round growing. Optimal solar heating results from an east-west axis and a 60 degree angle on the south facing side of the building. Large water-filled metal drums on the north wall inside the greenhouse collect and store heat from solar energy entering the greenhouse windows. These drums then release that heat back into the greenhouse to keep the temperature steady.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Education and research, like the work at Catawba College, is essential to develop new ideas and initiatives in urban agriculture as well as promoting the movement.