The Rhinelander Community Garden is run by the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry and provides food to all customers, impacting up to 650 people each month. Adding a new thermostatically controlled heater, cooling fans and automated irrigation to the greenhouse have already had the effect of additional growing power to feed Pantry customers. Already in June (in Northern Wisconsin), cucumbers and basil are being harvested from the greenhouse. The irrigation system is still being installed but should be completed by the end of July.
What challenges did or does your project face?
There were complexities in the planning of the irrrigation and solar panel setup. The new heater took a few weeks to stabilize, but is now functioning well. The irrigation system will be completed shortly.
How are you working to overcome them?
We use an adaptive management system and team work to address all the issues encountered.
What did you or your project learn this season that might be useful to others as well?
We have added growboxes to the greenhouse in the past few weeks, something we have not tried before, and are waiting to see how the peppers grow. We had to reduce the length of the greenhouse tables to there there was more space for the plants to grow. We suspect that the peppers will create a greenhouse jungle in coming months. We have experimented by purchasing growboxes of various types, and have found the Garden Patch growbox to be most useful for our needs since you can monitor the water levels in the reservoir from the visible trough that the growboxes have. https://www.agardenpatch.com/