This article was originally published in the July 31, 2018 Global Growers e-newsletter.
Representatives from Creative Solar set up solar panels on the farm late June.
With the installation of 28 solar panels at our Bamboo Creek Farm site, Global Growers expects to be the first farm in the metro-Atlanta area to have walk-in coolers partially powered by solar energy. Many thanks goes to the Solarize Decatur-DeKalb Coalition for their support and partnership in this project!
Bamboo Creek Farm is a 15-acre property that is shared by international farmers who came to this country as refugees from the Chin state of Burma (Myanmar). It operates as an incubator farm program where Global Growers provides access land, resources, and markets to support the development of new farm businesses. “The solar installation is another example of our partner farmers taking the lead on innovative and efficient farming practices,” says Robin Chanin, Executive Director, “Too often, the focus is on helping marginalized farmers get caught up, rather than advancing in key areas like alternative energy systems on the farm.”
Cold storage is one of the most intensive energy users on Global Growers’ farm, but it is an essential component of a fresh market, diversified fruit and vegetable operation making deliveries 4-5 days/week around metro-Atlanta. Bamboo Creek Farm uses a converted shipping container as the primary cold storage facility, along with two smaller units, that together offer three different temperature ranges suited for different products. “This repurposed cold storage unit is mobile and offers us versatility. Whether we unplug it and transport it to another location, or repurpose it into an office or dry storage unit, the cold storage unit works, offers endless possibilities and informs the community on renewable, sustainable farming practices,” says Todd Eittreim, our Farm Operations Manager.
Global Growers continues to push the boundaries of sustainable farm design with low-cost, effective, and replicable infrastructure that will help small farms be more competitive in the local marketplace, while being compliant with food safety standards. In partnership with the USDA and City of Atlanta’s Office of Resiliency, Global Growers will soon publish 3D models in an infrastructure toolkit so that other small farms can more easily build out their own systems.
Learn more about the solar project at: http://www.gipl.org/donated-
Learn about opportunities to get involved with Global Growers.