Projects per year
Fruit and vegetable production is concentrated in warm climates with readily available water. Increasing temperatures and decreasing water are reducing yield and increasing costs in these locations. Also, consumer demand for locally produced foods is increasing as nutritional, economic, and increased food access and security benefits are reported. Taken together, food production will increasingly move to moderate climates with available water and/or indoors near the local markets. Minnesota farmers historically grew vegetables in greenhouses during the winter. Our proposal utilizes new technologies (solar, LEDs, and power storage) to enable local fresh vegetable production in greenhouses and indoors (warehouses, homes, office buildings). It addresses the nexus of food, energy and water at a grassroots level by involving the public in increasing fresh food access, improving health, reducing carbon-based energy, and providing local economic benefits. Our project also shifts the food and energy production paradigm from large-scale to a “crowd-sourcing” model.