November 16, 2016
Philadelphia will soon be getting its very first passive solar greenhouse thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Whole Cities Foundation.
Led by the nonprofit Urbanstead, a community farming and youth education organization, the project will produce a sustainable greenhouse that requires no energy source other than the sun to function.
Installation will take place at the Francisville Urban Farm and Orchard, a plot of about half an acre at Ridge Avenue and Wylie Street.
The Whole Cities Foundation, run by Whole Foods Market, provided the funding through its Community First Grant Program. This year's grantees include community gardens, urban farms, mobile markets, and pop-up produce stands. Philadelphia's Urban Tree Connection, which focuses on revitalizing open spaces, also received a Whole Cities Foundation grant.
For Urbanstead, the project will directly translate into increased food access for Philadelphia.
"This will allow us to extend our growing season all year round, which is very exciting," said Urbanstead spokesperson Yoni Kroll. "While we occupy only a small part of the overall urban farming community in Philadelphia, we hope this will be an inspiration for other groups in order to further the overall goal of making this city a better place for all its citizens."
The announcemnt comes just as Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf reopened the state's Solar Energy Program for businesses, economic development organizations and public divisions.
Learn more about passive solar greenhouses in the video below.