Mouth-watering fruits and vegetables picked at their ripest moment and consumed within hours of harvest — this is the beginning of an age of health and wellness like no other. Imagine a world where all varieties of edible plants are available and affordable, because they are being produced organically on the local level, indoors and year-round. This dream can come true if we are willing to ditch our old belief systems and join the regenerative movement. Buildings could be sources of clean air, water and food, if redesigned afresh. The application of systems thinking in so many new contexts this century will provide a sense of hope in regaining a momentum towards sustainability, rather than denying it. Instead of accepting self-destruction and scarcity as common ways of life, humans have a chance to transcend the limitations of society and nature to see a new form of agriculture.
Perpetual Harvest Greenhouse System (PHGS) combines recent innovations in vertical greenhouse technology into a single integrated design capable of year-round, “better than organic” food production. PHGS creates 365 ideal growing days per year by optimizing light, carbon dioxide enrichment, and soluble nutrient delivery (organic aeroponics) in conjunction with continuous planting and harvesting. This guarantees crops will be protected from weather or environmental extremes that normally pose great risks.
PHGS accomplishes profitable year round production by optimizing two primary features of greenhouse operation – growing techniques and energy management. Because this system can operate for four seasons, its overall profitability is estimated to be 6-8 times that of the conventional three-season greenhouse or of outdoor plantings. The uniqueness of the PHGS lies not in any one feature, but instead in the integration of many innovative aspects of greenhouse design and operation. All the features utilized in the PHGS have been successfully applied separately in existing greenhouse systems; however, research indicates that no single publicized greenhouse system currently in operation utilizes the combination of specific features integrated into the Perpetual Harvest system.
Furthermore, integration of the Perpetual Harvest system with renewable energy production systems will allow our customers to power their homes, as well as the greenhouse, with no additional cost after installation. We recommend using a combination of power systems, so there will always be a back-up system in place, if needed. An on-demand system which can include two or three fuel sources, such as bio-diesel, ethanol still, methane bio-digester, etc., powering a co-generation unit will improve energy efficiency and drive down operating costs while producing marketable by-products. Of course, solar and wind energy should be utilized when quality resources are available. Ideally, PHGS will become a part of sustainable community infrastructure/city planning.
PHGS is dedicated to Allison Book, who experienced a progressive seven consecutive years of growing food continuously for her family in the harsh climate of Central Oregon in the 1980s. This period in their family’s life was the best, as they embraced the health associated with a natural and fresh diet filled with live produce. Now her daughter, Kelly Gehlhoff, has started seeking funding for development of a commercial prototype of the PHGS to prove the system’s contributions to a sustainable future. Once operation of the system is optimized and proven to be financially profitable, the prototype can be showcased as an educational vehicle illustrating efficient and sustainable food and energy production for communities, organizations, and more.
It is envisioned that this system can be duplicated and thus marketed in many geographic areas, particularly temperate northern climates. Our vertical farming system is especially applicable in urban and suburban settings. PHGS is also compatible with underground and warehouse growing facilities, especially when powered by renewable energy sources. We are committed to developing and sharing best practices for indoor agriculture to ensure the industry becomes increasingly sustainable as technology rapidly advances. Eventually every edible crop on Earth will be able to be grown on a single plot of land. We work to support a future where every community can feed themselves their cultural staples year-round and humans can experience the vitality and security of true “food sovereignty”