Greenhouses for Food Production have Social and Economic Development Impacts

Food and flowers in a CORNUCOPIA GREENHOUSE ( bring great joy, good food and a great social center for a community. Nothing brings peace like gardening and connecting with nature.

Greenhouses, and high tunnels can have significant economic development and social impacts according to research done by

"We were at the Salman Ranch in Northern New Mexico, to witness the first day of annual raspberry picking" said Ben Boothe. "The onsite manager said that at one time they farmed a much larger area of berries, and had 70+ employees just to farm and take care of the berry crop."

That says a lot. Food production, if done properly, brings many new jobs to an area.

New jobs means new activity in local businesses, more students in the school system, more tenants and owners with demand for housing, demand for automobiles, more activity at restaurants and grocers. The multiplier effect by adding just 70 people from one farm runs into millions of dollars a year for a community.

Cornucopia Greenhouses believes that Greenhouses could save the world. As food shortages around the world, become more intense, we begin to realize that current food production systems will not suffice. Saneh Boothe at: tells us that multipliers must be integrated into the food system. "Not only in commercial agriculture, but it makes sense for churches and civic groups to have community gardens, and the center of each garden should be a greenhouse, to protect from wind, frost, snow and heat."

I recall when a child, my parents had a dime store in Lamesa, Texas. On Saturdays the store filled up with farm workers, who came to town to purchase supplies, toys, candy, clothes, and tools. Those were the days when farmers didn't just grow mass produced cotton crops, but they also grew food.

"There was an abundance of food, even during the depression, because all the farmers had gardens. Farmers would drive through town with squash, corn, watermelons, cantaloupe, tomatoes, green beans, peaches and just give the food away to anyone who wanted it. Those were the days when American farmers used a portion of their land to buy food." Pauletta Daniels, 87 year old farmer in Dawson County, Texas.

Present day farmers are having a hard time doing well, even with high prices on cotton and grains. They will have to re-learn the lessons of growing food. With worldwide food prices high, at record levels, and worldwide energy costs even higher, the outlook for food prices is for perhaps the highest cost of food in history. This is also directly related to the fact that only about 2% of world wide water supplies are potable. Much of the water, if it is available, is salty, mineralized, or polluted and much of it cannot be used for farming. Therefore, farmers must look at a new concept of farming.

Saneh Boothe has a new concept with her company:

"I have a strong belief that food and water shortages will be of the most important issues in our world of tomorrow" she said. Food is high because energy for fertilizer, herbicides, and transportation is high. When energy prices go up 10% the price of food goes up 30%" she says. But, also, it takes energy to pump and irrigate crops with water. Water is becoming scarce and expensive. This also drives the cost of food up.

Saneh Boothe's CORNUCOPIA GREENHOUSES offers 3 concepts that make her idea timely and on the leading edge for both agriculture, but for corporations, churches, community groups and families.

Saneh Boothe points to these advantages of Cornucopia Greenhouse food production:

  1. Cornucopia Greenhouses uses solar panels and wind turbines to provide electricity for lighting, circulation fans and for running irrigation pumps, thus she is saving energy on power in her units.
  2. Greenhouses use drip irrigation, therefore saving water resources and use less than 1/4th of the water that traditional "open field" farming uses.
  3. Cornucopia greenhouses stress a solar water heating system that can heat the sub soil thus making it possible to grow crops even with it is below freezing outside.
  4. Greenhouses control the humidity, temperature and the environment.
  5. Cornucopia Greenhouses can control pollution of weed seeds or pollen from other neighboring crops from destroying the integrity of your crops.
  6. These units can be put near cities, or places where there is demand for food.
  7. Greenhouses and high tunnels can extend the growing season.
  8. Greenhouses protect from high heat, low cold, high winds, hail, frost and severe weather.
  9. High tunnels and Greenhouses are ideal for "organic" non chemical food production.
  10. Greenhouses protect against animal predators and provide some insect control.

We cannot forget the Greenhouse project of the Taos Pueblo,in New Mexico. That community is over 1000 years old, and they build several greenhouses. The War Chief told us: "It has revitalized our Pueblo. Our old people are teaching the young people about the land and how to grow food. They are providing rare seeds of ancient plants.We are having kids that were unemployed, now work at the greenhouses, growing food. We even have college kids from around the nation come and volunteer for a month at a time, just for the experience. We eat the food, sell the surplus, and it simply has been great for our community."