A Community Greenhouse for our Community?
At the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre we believe it’s time to look at the issue of community food security with a new lens. Part our research into new approaches for building a food secure community includes examining the feasibility of constructing and operating a community greenhouse. This research is made possible through funding provided by the Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food Saskatchewan program of the Agriculture Council of Saskatchewan.[quote align="right" color="#999999"]A community greenhouse differs from a production greenhouse in that it operates as a public benefit[/quote]
A community greenhouse differs from a production greenhouse in that it operates as a public benefit and is primarily designed for engagement with the community. Our current research focuses on the potential for a community greenhouse centre to be operated as a mixed-use community space, offering year-round growing and education, as well as facilities such as classrooms, meeting rooms, kitchen and office space. The greenhouse could offer opportunities for education, horticulture therapy and provide a source of fresh fruits and vegetables for our food hamper program.
The greenhouse centre would be designed in a way to harvest and conserve energy and water, providing opportunities to pilot innovative technologies for heating and electricity. Social enterprise models are being investigated, as well as infrastructure for our local food economy including food production, processing, preparation and storage facilities.
We'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic! Please contact Brit MacDonald, project lead, for more information.