SW RSDP gets Bush Foundation grant for deep winter greenhouse work
With a two-year, $76,000 grant from the Bush Foundation, the Southwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (SW RSDP) will create a winter greenhouse growers association. Winter greenhouses allow growers in northern climates to produce greens and other vegetables during the winter months, providing local food to their communities at a time of year fresh produce is typically imported from far away.
The project is in memory of winter greenhouse pioneer Chuck Waibel, who had received a Bush Fellowship for his work several months before he passed away from cancer in August 2013. Under the grant to SW RSDP, Carol Ford, Waibel's widow and partner in winter greenhouse work, will help establish the growers' network. The two previous wrote a book about creating and managing winter greenhouses, The Northland Winter Greenhouse Manual, which is available at barnesandnoble.com and elsewhere.
The grant's purpose is to develop a mutual assistance network of small-scale, sustainable-food entrepreneurs using high-efficiency winter greenhouses in west central Minnesota, and potentially across the state.
RSDP has winter greenhouse work occurring in other regions of Minnesota, including the Southeast and Central Lakes. A recent RSDP publication on cold climate greenhouses dedicated to Chuck Waibel is available on the RSDP Community and Local Food Resources page.
The Deep Winter Producers Association is, under Carol Ford's direction, building a website. If you are interested in joining the association or are interested in building a winter greenhouse, please contact Carol Ford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about the Bush Foundation grant can be found here (PDF).