News Blog

Our news/blog section offers up to date information and commentary on the various aspects of the Rejuvenation Network. Check back often for news or leave a comment on our latest developments!

Revolutionary Gardens

We are proud to introduce another interesting project in regards to sustainability into our fold! Below is a simple introduction by our Revolutionary Gardens team!

Transient

Please allow us to introduce ourselves.  We are Revolutionary Gardens CSA Greenhouses.  We are currently in the process of creating an off-grid, sustainable, organic food growing project in the Toronto Area.  This will be achieved by providing high-efficiency micro-climate-controlled, off-grid greenhouses with both traditional and innovative aquaponic growing, and water filtration technologies, to efficiently produce food of the highest quality possible with today’s technology.

These greenhouses as part of a broader urban agriculture CSA strategy involving communities who need access who healthy food will be a key asset to food security in Toronto and the GTA.  The global industrialized, high-input, export driven agricultural production sector, along with concentrated corporate processing and retailing, is ecologically unsustainable, increasingly unaffordable, unhealthy and unjust, as noted in a recent report by civil society organizations in preparation for the UN Special Rapporteur.  In Canada, food sovereignty means connecting the right to consume food with the right to produce food for local consumption.  Revolutionary Gardens is poised to help build the infrastructure needed to play our part in securing local food sovereignty. We will be working with local organizations, institutions and permaculture land/farm projects, to sustainably and equitably produce healthy food, with and for diverse urban communities.   

The greenhouse pilot is based on the bubble solar greenhouse, a successful model that has been tested in several climates and shows promise for further adaptation. Working with Photonics, an experienced renewable energy and water treatment engineering/build company, and others­­, we will build on the example of the bubble greenhouse to combine the best of current technologies to achieve full year round micro climate control for maximum food production.

The greenhouse will be one of a handful of uniquely sustainable buildings around the world that makes use of interior-environment control systems commonly known as SolaRoof technology.  When required, a mass of soap bubbles are held between two transparent skins that form the roof and walls of the  building to provide a thick transparent blanket of insulation or cooling shading.  This design provides an ideal solar controlled environment for growing horticultural and food crops and maximizing production while requiring minimum energy and conserving water resources.  The liquid bubbles provide hundreds of layers of bubbles of about 6 mm (1/4 inch) diameter since a typical roof would be one meter thick. This provides a shade that is similar to cloud cover and absorbs the invisible heat spectrum of the sun. The advantage is cool daylight under the transparent roof that greatly reduces stress and improves productivity and comfort in the controlled environment space.  The liquid bubbles provide a thick blanket of insulation at night that is able to reduce the heat loss by a factor of ten times as compared to standard double polyethylene covered greenhouses and is about 15 times improvement over a single glass covered greenhouse.  The renewal of the bubbles brings the stored solar gain from the liquid thermal mass system to the building envelope so that no conventional heating is required inside the growing space during cold nights. 

These types of innovations in thermal efficiency of structures have resulted in organizations such as the United States Green Building Council creating initiatives like LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design).  LEED® is an internationally recognized green building certification system providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.