In the economically distressed Homewood neighborhood of Pittsburgh sits a greenhouse that is mere feet from city utilities infrastructure, but there are no city utility connections in this building. Powered exclusively by energy from the sun through a revolutionary DC micro grid, the Homewood greenhouse requires no supplementary heat, energy, or water. Inside the greenhouse, Oasis Farms and Fishery is perfecting the revolutionary agricultural technology called aquaponics, where plants are combined with aquatic life to create a sustainable, diverse system of food growth and cultivation. It is a revolutionary urban farming initiative that provides a model for agricultural, economic, and sustainable development for even the most remote and under-privileged locations. Designed to increase food productivity and density, especially in urban areas, this experimental greenhouse not only grows food, but acts as a global model for developing nations.
The greenhouse includes:
- Aquaponics systems to grow plants and fish
- A STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education classroom under a solar canopy
- A rainwater collection and purification system, with both 1,200 and 500-gallon cisterns, that uses a series of ultraviolet light, filters, and pumps to make the water safe for the aquatic living environment
- Maintenance-free materials and design
- Zero operating cost