What is Greenhouse Horticulture?
A Greenhouse is defined as "a glass building in which plants are grown that need protection from cold weather." Greenhouses can also be used to grow plants that would not typically grow in that area. Greenhouses are an efficient, convenient, and natural way of providing food to a home or community. Horticulture is defined as "the art or practice of garden cultivation and management." We use horticulture to grow plants, such as those found in greenhouses. Horticulture can also be used in studies of soil quality, water conservation, and growing strategies.
Some great plants to begin growing in a greenhouse are radishes, peas, strawberries, garlic, leafy greens, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, sunflowers, and mushrooms.
All of these plants provide great sources of nutrients, and the best part is, you know exactly where they came from and what's in them because...you grew them yourself!
While greenhouses are a great money-saving resource in the long run, they do come with some startup costs. For example, if you don't already have land to place the greenhouse on you will need to purchase some or locate someone who is willing to let you use a plot of theirs. You don't need very much space and a lot of people are very open to the idea of allowing you use of their land in exchange for fresh veggies from your greenhouse!
Another cost associated is, of course, building materials. While this can seem like it would be expensive, places like the Habitat for Humanity Re-store have unused building materials such as windows, lumber, doors, etc. to help you cut costs.
There is also the opportunity for local organizations and companies that will donate overstocked and to-be-discarded materials such as lumber to certain projects. It never hurts to ask!
Other costs include planters, watering systems, seeds, temperature control. growing lights and upkeep if you don't plan to take care of that part yourself.
The big question is: are greenhouses eco-friendly?
With global warming looming and talk of the "greenhouse effect" in bad connotation, it's easy to wonder if actual greenhouses are good or bad for our planet.
First, let's talk about what the greenhouse effect is.
"The greenhouse effect is a process that occurs when gases in Earth's atmosphere trap the Sun's heat. This process makes Earth much warmer than it would be without an atmosphere. The greenhouse effect is one of the things that makes Earth a comfortable place to live."
Although the greenhouse effect has played a substantial role in making Earth a livable place for humans, it is because of humans that the greenhouse effect is having a negative impact on our world. With the rise of the industrial period and the emission of pollutants in the atmosphere, our world is getting too hot, which is cause for major global concern.
However, the greenhouse effect, in terms of how it works in greenhouses, doesn't have much to do with global warming.
As with everything man made, greenhouses do have a carbon footprint. This cannot be avoided when creating structures that do not form in nature without the aid of humans. The transportation of lumber, for example, would need use of a vehicle. That vehicle emits pollutants into the air. This can be lessened with the use of an electric vehicle to transport materials to the construction site.
Another cause for concern is the source of the lumber used in growing. It is good practice to make sure any materials you use for anything in your life are ethically sourced and not harvested through deforestation, which has an immensely negative impact on ecosystems that are essential for life on Earth.
Although there is a small carbon footprint associated with the construction of greenhouses, these structures have the ability to withstand the tests of time and last generations, creating a wonderful source of fresh food for humans that is ethically sourced, 100% organic, fresh, natural, and nutrient rich.
At the Hearts of Gold Foundation, we believe that Greenhouse Horticulture is the future of ending food insecurity, building a healthier future for the next generations, creating community development and impact, unity, and so much more!