Our Sustainability Practices at Mohican Gardens: Being good stewards.
Renewable Energy & Reduced Carbon Footprint
Geothermal Heating & Cooling System, after extensive research Mohican Gardens acted upon a vision and commitment of implementing a renewable energy source making it unique among its peers. In 2009 Mohican Gardens completed installation of a geothermal system providing the majority of its energy needs for heating and cooling. Because the system uses the earth’s natural energy, geothermal systems are one of the most energy efficient systems available today. Traditional greenhouses have been operated on fossil fuel sources; fuel oil, natural gas or coal which operate at a much lower efficiency and are not renewable sources. While the system uses electricity, it offers the potential of energy generation from renewable sources of wind and solar. Technical and engineering support for the system were provided by CIFT, the Center for Innovatiove Food Technology www.cift.eisc.org and our mechanical contractor Kidron Electric, Inc. www.kidronelectic.com
Bio – Fuel “Carbon Neutral” Wood Boiler, our secondary heating source for the conservatory and greenhouse is a outdoor wood fired boiler. Heating with wood utilizes a renewable source of energy produced on our own farm. Burning with wood is carbon neutral as the carbon emission from burning wood is offset by the carbon dioxide absorbed through the tree’s growth process. Our outdoor boiler also offers the potential of utilizing other renewable fuel sources such as switch grass pellets as these technologies and systems develop in the future.
Energy Retention and Shade Curtain System. Our greenhouse thermal curtains are retractable energy curtains across the top, inside of our greenhouses. When closed the curtain serves as a thermal barrier, keeping the energy inside the conservatory. On cold sunny days the curtain is opened allowing the conservatory to absorb the sun’s energy. In like manner the curtain acts as a shading system during the summer months. In the closed position the curtain reflects the sun’s rays keeping the conservatory much cooler.
E – Window Film, the glass window glazing on the west side of the conservatory has an energy film that conserves energy. The window film reflects heat from within the conservatory helping to conserve energy during the heating season. During the summer months the window film reflects the sun’s rays away, making it easier to cool the conservatory.
Radiant Floor Heating, radiant heating is a very efficient form this heating. Hot water from the outdoor boiler is circulated through tubes in our concrete floor to provide an even and very efficient delivery of heat.
IPM Intergrated Pest Management
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a management system that utilizes nature’s own processes and predators to maintain control of undesirable pest problems. We use good bugs to control the bad bugs. IPM is more than just using bugs. Its balanced management decisions on a host of growing practices; pest scouting, selective spraying, heating, cooling, ventilation control, all used in balance to create a desired impact on our plant production. Instead of using a broad repetitive spraying program to eliminate pest problems, IPM uses a series of management practices to control pest problems. IPM is true example of a sustainability management practice.