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LOCAL NEWS-
The University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) along with the Center for Sustainable Building Research (CSBR) at the University of Minnesota College of Design will partner with Bemidji Community Food Shelf to test a prototype Deep Winter Greenhouse (DWG) that is designed to help farmers grow fresh produce throughout the winter months.  
DWGs are passive solar, low-cost, low-carbon winter food production systems. Producers using DWG technology are able to grow winter-hardy crops such as lettuces, cole crops (e.g., cabbages, broccoli, Asian greens), and various sprouts with little or no added heat. The structure is built with a south-facing, angled glazing wall that captures heat from the sun. Heat is stored in an underground rock bed and dissipates into the above-ground planting area at night. The University’s prototype builds on earlier designs to increase insulation capacity and reduce electric use in the greenhouse.  
According to RSDP Associate Director for Local Foods and Sustainable Agriculture Greg Schweser, “Existing common season extension techniques such as high tunnels and row covers extend the season, but are unable to provide capacity to produce product in the winter. Passive solar Deep Winter Greenhouses optimize production in the winter months, giving farmers the ability to produce from October through March and bridge from the beginning to the end of the traditional production season.
 
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