Category Archives: Greenhouses

ORC at 40: Challenging times for organic, but we can be ‘driving force’

Natural Products – Jan 22nd, 2020 – Jim Manson

As it begins its 40th year, the Organic Research Centre (ORC) – the UK’s leading independent organic research body – has moved to new premises. 

The relocation to Trent Lodge in Cirencester follows a rethink of the charity’s business model since the departure of long-standing CEO Nic Lampkin last year. 

The decision was made to sell the ORC’s previous headquarters, Elm Farm near Newbury, with the aim that proceeds would provide long-term stability, a source of investment income for core funding, and scope to invest in the organisation for the future.

The new premises are situated next to the Royal Agricultural University (RAU), which will help boost the ORC’s industry relations and collaborative activities as well as providing a base for research.

Editorial Note from CCFSH:

Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, Canada – Photo – Ken Billings

Across the country, Agriculture Canada has 20 Research farms. Two in each western province, four in Ontario, four in Quebec and one in each of the Eastern provinces.

According to Agriculture Canada, the jewel in Ottawa, 1150 acres in the middle of the city, called the Central Experimental Farm uses chemicals on 95 to 98 % of the farm.

The people of Canada have a unique opportunity to build a better, healthier business plan. These research facilities, taken over by a volunteer Board of Directors could produce ‘ Organic, Permaculture and Greenhouse Research and Education Centres to provide fiirst class organic research facilities for school children to learn first hand about the wonders of growing safe, healthy food. This is a win/win if we can out maneuver the marriage of Big Agra and the Federal Government control.

This was a big dream of Dr. Shiv Chopra. To do this, it has to be sooner than later. In places like Ottawa, they have already earmarked 70 acres for a hospital and the city developers are drooling over the rest of the Central Experimental Farm.

What do you think?

Ken Billings

Executive Director, CCFSH

Growing greens in the Arctic – 12 min

DW Documentary – Mar 25, 2019 – 12 min video

Growing greens in the Arctic | DW Documentary

In Spitsbergen, one of the northern-most populated areas inside the Arctic Circle, American Benjamin Vidmar is attempting the unthinkable.

On an island that is dark for three months of the year, he’s growing fresh vegetables for the local community. enjamin Vidmar has worked all over the world as a chef. It was something of a coincidence that he ended up on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, in the Arctic Circle. Because he wanted to have fresh vegetables, he built a special domed-shaped greenhouse and developed his own composting system. His aim is to provide fresh, locally sourced food for the community along with a sustainable waste disposal system – developing global solutions for food production in the process. Now he wants to open his own restaurant which is to operate without producing any waste. A report by Axel Rowohlt.

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Reinventing the Greenhouse

The modern glass greenhouse requires massive inputs of energy to grow crops out of season. That’s because each square metre of glass, even if it’s triple glazed, loses ten times as much heat as a wall.

However, growing fruits and vegetables out of season can also happen in a sustainable way, using the energy from the sun. Contrary to its fully glazed counterpart, a passive solar greenhouse is designed to retain as much warmth as possible.

Research shows that it’s possible to grow warmth-loving crops all year round with solar energy alone, even if it’s freezing outside. The solar greenhouse is especially successful in China, where many thousands of these structures have been built during the last decades.

Fruit Walls: Urban Farming in the 1600s

 

 

 

 

 

These crops were grown surrounded by massive “fruit walls”, which stored the heat from the sun and released it at night, creating a microclimate that could increase the temperature by more than 10°C (18°F).Later, greenhouses built against the fruit walls further improved yields from solar energy alone

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