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What can we grow in a protected environment?


In cases where the climate and soil are only suitable for growing a limited array of crops, eating locally might mean difficulty in providing sufficient variety in the diet. In cases where local production is assisted by structures such as heated greenhouses to ensure year round production despite adverse conditions, eating locally can have ‘additional’ environmental consequences.

 

Polytunnels, cold frames, greenhouses, conservatories and bioshelters are all architectural structures covered in plastic or glass that provide protected environments. Rays from the sun coming through these translucent or transparent walls are absorbed by the plants and soil, thus heating the building. The warmed air is trapped inside, creating a more temperate environment. To achieve even warmer conditions, heating must be used, often at a considerable economic and environmental cost.

 

Are there other ways to imagine extending a growing season in a cold climate or heating growing spaces with natural means?

 

Our polytunnel contained a variety of plants that are grown moct successfully under protection in the UK - including tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines, sweet peppers and chilli peppers.

Local artist, Barbara Kenny, painted the plants 'growing' on the polytunnel walls - peppers, tomatoes, aubergines, cucumbers.

Polytunnel  
   
Polytunnel  
   
Polytunnel