Consider this. You can build a "High Tunnel Greenhouse" with 1000 feet of area, 12 feet tall, and 30 feet wide and 40 feet long for about $3280.
You can grow enough food for your family organically, and have food left over to give or sell to others. You can power your water well, with a wind turbine, and never pay an electric bill. People are quietly doing this by the thousands, across the world.
High tunnels are inexpensive “green houses” that can be utilized by agricultural producers to grow food crops in high volume. It is an answer to the rising cost of land, an answer to the rising cost of water, and an answer for a need to move food production nearer to metropolitan areas therefore lowering expensive transportation. But more and more people, who want to preserve the environment, have fresh food, and enjoy organic foods are using high tunnels. Even churches, schools and cities are sponsoring "garden projects".
Advantages also include:
1. Ability to control humidity
2. Ability to control water, especially through drip irrigation
3. Ability to control fertilizers, insects and temperature
4. Ability to grow three crops per year, or increase production of one or two crops by 200%
5. Ability to control temperature for optimal growth
One ideal application of High Tunnel production is the small 30 by 40 feet tunnel shown in the photo in this article. Atunnel similar to thisis watered by a well, with an electric submersible pump, with electricity provided by a wind turbine. This “green house” is within the city limits of Fort Worth, Texas.
The project grows 20 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, with other plants such as carrots, peppers, radishes, andmany varieties of flowers. Exotic berries and small fruits can also grown. “Webuilt this to motivate and educate churches, schools and even cities to use high tunnels for food production projects” said Afsaneh Tabeei director and founder of CORNUCOPIA PROJECT ENTERPRISES, of Fort Worth, Texas. "In my native country of Persia, people have cherished 'fresh foods' for thousands of years. It is good to see people becoming more interested in growing their own in America, instead of getting foods that have been treated by dozens of chemicals and flown in to America by sources of unknown quality." she said. Recent stories of strawberries from Mexico with high levels of deadly chemicals confirm her concerns.
“We are growing food with natural sunshine, controlled temperatures, drip irrigation and misting to control humidity, and lighting powered by a wind turbine. Therefore this project totally comes from the Sun, the Soil, and Water, all done organically.” Said Saneh. "To me, this is real environmental protection and not abstract, because we can taste the results, and the results are delicious". She said.
There has been much attention to the reduced protein and vitamin content of foods mass produced in the USA food system. Tomatoes, for example are harvested while hard and green, artificially treated to cause a “Red” color, but are lacking in taste, vitamins, and protein. Thus there is a growing interest in America to produce more foods that are “environmentally consistent” with what is understood and known by nutritionists and environmental research.
In Dubai, for example, the earth’s newest, modern city is built out of a desert. All of the food is flown in daily and this is an expensive matter. Consider, most vegetables have more "air miles" than most humans. It hardly seems like good logic, in times of rising fuel costs, and depletion of oil, water, and rising food costs. This is a radical example of food use, transportation and energy costs.