As for marketing, I think that would be the easy part. Did anyone catch the
Wisconsin Public Television program on sustainable agriculture? One of the
farmers was a truck farmer in the Milwaukee area. While he is not doing
greenhouse production, he and other market gardeners have created their own
farmers markets in inner city neighborhoods and are doing a thriving business.
University of Wisconsin-Madison Agronomy Department
>Date: Thu, 11 May 1995 12:52:35 -0400
>From: Kert@ewg.org (Kert Davies)
>Subject: Re: query: Greenhouses in Milwaukee?
>Yee of little faith. No rain on the parade today. There is a way. Use of
>waste energy from electric ultiities. Colorado Greenhouse tomatoes, in
>Fort Lupton, CO (303)857-1100 uses cooling water from a cogeneration plant
>to heat their greenhouses, providing a service to the utility by cooling
>off the water and meanwhile getting energy for free.
>There are other sources of excess heat, Philadelphia, for example, has an
>old steam plant that pumps steam throughout the city to heat buildings.
>CO greenhouse tomatoes produces and sells tomatoes nationwide (free of
>pesticides too by the way) year 'round. Call them up, speak to Mr.
>Bridgwater, the manager, who was very helpful and informative. Keep on
>this idea, I like it. Keep me on your E-mail list for updates on the
>>Re #1. Sorry to rain on the parade but I think it is likely that
>>the economics of hydroponic vegetable production mitigate against
>>this a viable urban development strategy. I could be mistaken
>>however. My serious reservations arise from several sources:
>>a) Hydroponic production requires a relatively high energy input
>>both in terms of direct energy to circulate nutrients and indirect
>>energy in terms of manufactured materials, as compared with non-hydroponic
>>b) Vegetable prices are relatively low especially in the warmer parts
>>of the year making return on investment low. At other times of the year
>>growth even in greenhouses is very slow because it is light limited.
>>Overcoming this limitation by artificial lighting then adds to the
>>In light of this I would suggest costing out the potential for
>>production of high value specialty crops such as flowers and ornamentals
>>(this can be year-round production to hit such busy seasons as
>>Easter and Christmas as well as summer yard plantings), as well as
>>production of fresh herbs. I would also suggest dispensing with
>>hydroponics in favor of soil-based production using organic greenhouse
>>On Mon, 8 May 1995, john hendrickson wrote:
>>> I am posting a query (actually two) for a person without Internet
>>> access. You can direct you responses to me.
>>> 1. Does anyone out there know anything about building and
>>> operating hydroponic greenhouses in an urban area? There is
>>> interest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in renovating existing
>>> structures to produce vegetables for local consumption and
>>> thereby providing jobs and income for inner city
>>> 2. Does anyone have experience with *YEAR-ROUND, IN-DOOR*
>>> farmers' markets?
>>> Thank you in advance.
>>> John Hendrickson
>>> Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
>>> University of Wisconsin-Madison
>>> (608) 265-3704