Growing Facilities

Rain Fresh Harvest

Green Energy

The sun and wind provide heat for the greenhouses and electricity to operate the equipment. We have built a renewable energy growing facility and a passive solar greenhouse to harvest a variety of fresh crops, through all four seasons in central Ohio.

The RainFresh BioIntegrated Greenhouse

This biointegrated sustainable agriculture facility has been growing crops year-round (since 2005), off-the-grid using renewable energy, collected rainwater, and environmentally responsible growing methods. It is designed with specific areas for aquaponics (organic hydroponics and aquaculture), worm composting (vermicomposting), herb drying and food processing. Featured crops include fresh herbs, salad greens (arugula), specialty vegetables, and ornamental fish. Passive solar south facing clear glazing plus a roof mounted active solar thermal collector system with radiant floor heating/thermal curtain systems provides for winter heating. A 1.0 kW Bergey Wind turbine and 2.1 kW of solar photovoltaic panels will provide the power to operate the equipment.

[Project funds include cost sharing grants from the Ohio Department of Development Office of Energy Efficiency in cooperation with Innovative Farmers of Ohio (2003) for renewable energy equipment, and from the USDA SARE producers grant program (2004 & 2008) for sustainable agriculture programs]

Renewable Energy System Components

12 Shell Solar Ultra 175 watt photovoltaic panels (2.1 kW) Outback VFX-3624 inverter with 12 Stationary 2 volt batteries electrical backup

The Passive Solar Greenhouse

The greenhouse is an unheated structure with an east to west orientation and ground insulated to take advantage of solar heating and wintertime soil thermal mass. This allows for cool season crops during the winter and ideal growing conditions for extended season berry production.

Aquaculture Pond

The pond designed for intensive production of fish, currently stocked with Mosquito Fish. Indoor aquaponic tanks grow ornamental koi, goldfish, bluegill and perch.