Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships’ (RSDP) work on Deep Winter Greenhouses (DWGs) addresses the need for Minnesota small- and mid-scale farmers to maintain year-round production. Recent University research supported by RSDP has found promising early evidence for the environmental and financial benefits of DWGs. Interest has grown, and in 2016 RSDP launched a statewide campaign to build five DWGs based on a prototype design by the Center for Sustainable Building Research (CSBR). From 2016-19, research conducted on these DWGs will investigate how the technology can be maximized to support behavior change (adoption of the technology). RSDP is uniquely positioned to address this issue due to the connection between scholarly expertise and access to community platforms needed to test and scale emerging DWG technology. This body of work illustrates Extension’s attention to emerging needs, support of scholarship, unique position as a trusted statewide network, and potential widespread impact on Minnesota’s food system, which aligns with the Minnesota Food Charter. Existing DWG producers will be surveyed for their perceptions of the impact of RSDP DWG services, change in participant (farmer) production practices, and impacts on the broader community and Minnesota’s food system.
Mohr, Caryn; Burgess-Champoux, Teri; Rice, Joshua; Schweser, Greg.
The Public Value of Deep Winter Greenhouse Research and Extension.
University of Minnesota Extension.
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