Plants still growing inside Chatham's greenhouse
Temperatures may have been below zero this week, but it was a balmy 36 degrees inside the moveable high-tunnel greenhouse at Chatham University's Eden Hall campus in Richland.
Inside the low tunnels, which protected the individual rows of hardy cold-weather plants, it was even warmer. But was it enough to protect them from sub-zero temperatures brought on by the polar vortex?
When the weather warmed up, Allen Matthews, director of sustainable agriculture at Chatham's Falk School of Sustainability, and graduate assistants Drew Cranisky and Hanna Mosca took the plastic and cloth covers off the plants. It was the first time they'd checked the plants since before Christmas.
“Oh my gosh, look!” Mosca said as they peeled off the covers, revealing the greenery underneath.
All the plants survived the deep freeze remarkably intact. In fact, they were ready to be harvested again, Matthews said.
The high tunnel greenhouse, an unheated greenhouse with plastic sides, retained heat from the sun to protect the plants from frostbite.
Winter-hardy plants like lettuce, beets, kale, carrots and cabbage were planted in the unheated high tunnel greenhouse in mid-November as part of Matthews' graduate classes on sustainability and extended growing seasons.
“The idea is to see how you can extend a season beyond the regular growing season in the summer,” he said.
Anyone can grow plants over the winter using a high tunnel system, Matthews said. It involves relatively little set-up and maintenance.
“There's nothing electronic here, and no external heat source,” he said. “Just the sun.”
The high tunnel was funded by the Snee-Reinhardt Charitable Foundation of Whitehall. Matthews and his graduate assistants have been harvesting the plants for use at Chatham's Dining Services since the beginning of December.
Rachel Farkas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-779-6902 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Icy water, donations to fight ALS flow with social media’s help
- Newsmaker: Joseph McCamey
- Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra makes ‘great strides’ financially, audit shows
- Pittsburgh eyes plan to resolve impasse over Hill District project on former Civic Arena site
- Barred Mt. Oliver firefighter turns up in gear at blaze, spurs investigation
- Nonprofit intends to restore West End Village tavern
- Artificial quakes cause less shaking, study finds
- College-bank deals inspire calls for openness from regulators
- Newsmakers: Natalia E. Morone and Kaleab Z. Abebe
- Mistakenly ID’d in sequential photo lineup, Shaler man is cleared of charges by Allegheny County DA
- Roman Catholics, evangelical Christians closer now than ever