Ending Type 2 Diabetes One Exercise, Nutrition, and Gardening Class at a Time

Oven Heat Warming Greenhouse

In Community Garden on November 22, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Winter descended last week, settling in like an overly enthusiastic sports fan shimmying between two obviously annoyed onlookers on either side. We at the garden, however, were not fazed. Number one, we have a stellar greenhouse. The dark afternoons are no deterrent, what with a little electricity, nor are the threatening winds skimming off the Long Island Sound and through the largely hollow Fair Haven streets.

The real prize, though, is our newest innovation.

This week the Chabaso Bakery staff installed a pipe that connects an oven vent to our greenhouse. The oven heat hovers around 80 degrees as it leaves the bakery walls, and has succeeded in maintaining a growing environment that rivals warmer CT falls. A fringe benefit is the flavor of garlic ciabatta in the air. Everything is warm and growing, including the summer turnips we ever so gingerly planted out of season.

The truth is that growing in a heated greenhouse 12 months per year is unnatural, and poses some complications, as Eliot Coleman pointed out to us last week in his visit to New Haven. He loved that we were capturing oven heat, but warned without enough sun, nitrates are not processed and could remain in the plants. Nitrates are dangerous to human health. Needless to say, we will have our leafy greens tested before dividing the harvest for our participating growers.

The metal piece was installed over the oven vent. The wooden box contains a silver pipe moving the heat.

The metal pipe ends when it enters the greenhouse. We open the doors to move the heat around.

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