MILAN - Chuck Waibel and his spouse and business partner, Carol Ford wrote the book on how to build a passive solar greenhouse and economically raise greens in the deep of winter.
No small feat in itself, but Waibel, of Milan, now has the opportunity to tackle the challenge that motivates him most of all.
Waibel recently learned that he is a recipient of a Bush Fellowship. He wants to see passive solar technology utilized to expand our local foods production and economy.
The ability to grow fresh greens in winter and the market for them is in place.
He will be working to bridge what he calls the “infrastructure gap” between the producers and consumers.
Waibel said he is excited about the scholarship, and very hopeful.
Along with rising consumer demand, Waibel said he is seeing lots of interest by people looking to utilize the passive solar technology that he and Ford describe in their book, “The Northlands Winter Greenhouse Manual.’’
Now it’s a matter of finding the best way to bring the two together. He believes it will require building a network of producers who can produce and distribute the foods in a coordinated manner.
The recently-awarded fellowship provides funding to pursue the issue for two years.
Waibel and Carol Ford founded Garden Goddess Enterprises in 2009, when they built a passive solar greenhouse on their garage in Milan. Waibel is also a public speaker, author, former professor at the University of Minnesota Morris and an inventor.