Wind and sun yield energy to power greenhouses

October 7, 2012 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

By 

Mark Williams

The Columbus Dispatch

Saturday October 6, 2012 4:17 PM

By growing food in ecologically sensitive ways with electricity and heat that come from the wind
and sun, Barry Adler gets to combine the two things he loves into one business: horticulture and
renewable energy.

“It’s a good feeling to know I’m not polluting in the process of using energy,” said Adler,
owner of
RainFresh Harvests, which grows
herbs, greens and other vegetables for local restaurants and stores.

RainFresh, near Plain City, is among the 170 businesses, homes, schools, parks and other
buildings across the state on this year’s Green Energy Ohio Tour. The weeklong tour wraps up on
Sunday.

Adler gave tours today of his two greenhouses and explained how a wind turbine and solar
panels generate electricity and heat for buildings that grow food throughout the year. The
operations don’t rely on the electricity grid, so that they can continue to function even when the
electricity is out, as was the case this summer following the powerful storms that pounded the
region.

He also showed how construction materials used in the greenhouses have made them energy
efficient.

“I wanted to create a model to be as sustainable as possible and have the least impact on
natural resources,” he said.

Adler, 60, who also is a part-time employee of Green Energy Ohio, has about $40,000 invested
in his renewable operations. Costs for solar panels and wind turbines have fallen since he
installed them several years ago, and the equipment is better.

Kevin Malhame, a founder of Northstar Café, has been buying arugula, basil, oregano, mint,
specialty vegetables and other food from Adler for eight years.

“The greens and herbs are fantastic,” he said.

That Adler uses renewable energy to power his operations is a plus for Northstar, Malhame
said.

“That makes it more valuable us,” he said.

For more information about the tour and what sites are available, go to
www.greenenergyohio.org.

mawilliams@dispatch.com

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