As interest in urban and rooftop gardens increases, especially where growing space and access to fresh produce is limited, companies like Trenton Forging in Michigan are stepping in to help. The company developed a system that transports excess heat in the form of water through piping; from there it runs to the rooftop and through narrow metal tubes that heat a rooftop greenhouse. So far they’ve harvested tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, and strawberries, and they share the produce among the company employees and visitors.
The good news is that the forging company runs year-round — therefore it can support a longer growing season, compared to other greenhouses that are forced to close during winter in the north. Additionally, the greenhouse helps insulate and thus reduce heating and cooling costs to the building. So basically the smiths save the day: lower energy costs, and better, less expensive food.
Having been gobbling up salads loaded with homegrown tomatoes myself the past few weeks (see my gardening post from May), I can attest that once you eat the real thing, you’ll never want to go back to store-ripened, mealy, seedy tomatoes again.