- Education and Training: demonstration
- Energy: energy conservation/efficiency
EarthDance will retrofit the greenhouse at our Organic Farm School in order to increase its environmental and economic sustainability. This project will demonstrate the energy savings that can be realized through bench-top heating.
Project objectives from proposal:
EarthDance proposes to install benchtop heating to reduce our greenhouse’s carbon footprint, and the cost of heating it. We will establish a baseline of energy usage and costs during our first winter by heating the greenhouse with propane. During the spring and summer of 2015, EarthDance will install a benchtop heating system, in order to greatly reduce our dependence on non-renewable energy. A benchtop heating system works by circulating hot water on benches under seedling trays, keeping the seedlings’ growing medium at an ideal soil temperature for germination. Low tunnels over the seedlings keep the ambient temperature immediately surrounding the seedlings temperate, while the air above the seedlings may drop to near freezing. It is far more efficient to heat soil than to heat an entire greenhouse structure, resulting in a huge cost and energy savings.
- Install a benchtop heating system in EarthDance's greenhouse in order to demonstrate a green technology to growers at our Organic Farm School
- Provide education about the value and usage of benchtop heating to beginning and established growers
- Install benchtop system by June of 2015
- Educate 25 beginning growers about greenhouse management, including benchtop heating, by May 2016
- Present the results of our benchtop heating trials at the Missouri Organic Association Conference to at least 15 growers by February of 2017
- Host a field day at EarthDance for at least 15 growers to demonstrate benchtop heating at work and enable growers to ask questions about the system by March of 2017.