Martha’s “Salsa Saturdays” in August!

Join Martha Gaffney of Martha’s Farm Saturdays in August to get a taste of fresh salsas and Latin culture!

 August 2nd & 16th in Wooster from 11-1

Sample farm fresh salsas and enjoy Latin music

At 3pm, Potluck & Dancing at 3!

(Bring a dish to share, drinks & table ware provided)

local roots wooster salsa party martha's farm

 Aug 9th & 23rd enjoy Martha’s Salsa samples at our Ashland Market from 11-1

Plug in!

A new electric vehicle charging station was installed at Local Roots Monday 6/23 thanks to the Wayne County Sustainable Energy Network (WCSEN)!

The charger is the first public charging station available in Wayne County and fills a void in the Ohio charging matrix.  It will allow any electric or plug in hybrid vehicle to be charged while the owners shop at Local Roots and around Downtown!

The charger is located in the rear (East side) of the building and is available for use 24 hours a day.  The charger is a fast, level 2 unit that adds about 7 to 10 miles of driving distance per hour of charge to most electric vehicles.

The estimated cost for charging is $1 per hour. WCSEN will pay for the usage, but users can make a donation to offset the cost at Local Roots.

For more info on the charger, see www.wcsen.org or contact Fred Michel at president@wcsen.org

How About a Single Slope Greenhouse?

How About a Single Slope Greenhouse?  by Susan English

Imagine producing high quality green leafy vegetables in the dead of winter in northern Ohio without the use of electric, gas, or coal heat.  If this idea catches your attention, you may be interested in the single-slope greenhouse.

First developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s by growers in Northern China, the single-slope greenhouse is a research area of interest to Mei Qu, Ph.D., professor of agricultural engineering at China Agricultural University in Beijing.  I had the pleasure of getting to know Prof. Qu and her family while she was on assignment at the Ohio State Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster during the past year.

According to Prof. Qu, the single-slope design features solid, heat-retaining vertical walls on three sides, with transparent panes only on the south-facing, sloping roof.  The angle of the slope is calculated for the specific latitude.

To retain heat during the cold winter nights, an insulating blanket is rolled over the transparent slope.  In the morning, this cover is removed to again admit the warming sunlight.  The cover can be made from inexpensive, recyclable organic materials, such as straw, or from lighter and longer-lasting synthetic materials.

On a cold winter day, the inside temperature will reach 16°C (61°F) or higher around noon.  Even when winter temperatures outside fall to -20°C (-4°F) inside temperatures rarely fall below 8°C (46°F), as measured at daybreak.  On warmer days in spring, summer, or fall, the transparent windows are opened, as in a typical greenhouse, to provide cooling ventilation.

Challenges with the single-slope greenhouse include humidity, which can reach 90% in winter, requiring control of both moisture and gases from the soil.  The effort to remove snow and to spread and roll up the cover each day must certainly add to labor costs.

More recent designs address these challenges with a wet cooling system on the east and west walls plus automated vents and blanket rollers.  A double-arch design simplifies maintenance with dual transparent surfaces, one above and one below the insulating blanket.

Dr. Qu and her colleagues have quantified the economic and environmental benefits of the single-slope greenhouse.  It can provide highly nutritional crops year-round in temperate zones with minimal energy use and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.  “Increased proliferation of efficient solar greenhouses in China may contribute to solving worldwide problems such as the energy crisis and global climate change.”[1]

Designed for latitudes between 43° and 32° north, the single-slope greenhouse could be used in North America from Toronto to Atlanta.  With Columbus at the same latitude as Beijing (39° N), Wooster (40° N) falls nicely within this range.

Fred Michel, PhD., Associate Professor of Food, Agriculture, and Biological Engineering (FABE) at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) says, “Having visited this type of greenhouse in China, I believe they may be an energy efficient approach for Ohio growers to consider for year round growing.  At present this type of greenhouse may need to be adapted to use local materials, construction, labor and designs, but there is great potential.”

Architect Keith Speirs, project manager for the Wayne County Sustainable Energy Network (SEN) and board member of Local Roots in Wooster, concurs.  He believes the single-slope greenhouse design should be of interest to members of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) and to growers at Local Roots.

To pursue the design and construction a single-slope greenhouse, contact Dr. Peter P. Ling, professor in Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE) at OARDC.  Dr. Ling can be reached at 330-263-3857 or by email at ling.23@osu.edu.  Dr. Qu can be reached at qumei@cau.edu.cn. The author can be reached at 330-347-8155 or by email at senglish@umich.edu .

Greenhouse

[1] Gao, L.H., M. Qu, H.Z. Ren, X.L. Sui, Q.Y. Chen, and Z.X. Zhang. 2010. Structure, function, application, and ecological benefit of a single-slope, energy- efficient solar greenhouse in China.  HortiTechnology. June 2010 20(3): 626-631.