Here's how we’re growing community through a greenhouse hub!

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

Our Community Greenhouse Hub Vision

Community Needs 

We live in a tumultuous era with many demands on our time, our wallets and on our psyche. Even though we are more connected than ever before through the internet and social media, loneliness is at an all-time high. People are longing for meaningful in-person and community connection. There is a great need for place-making hubs that act as central gathering places for socializing, learning, collaborating, sharing and experiencing. 

Along with the need for a community social hub, there is a keen interest in this community for access to fresh, local, quality food. Over the years, discussions with friends and neighbours reveal that more and more people are interested in growing their own produce and supplying their families with food they trust from known sources. Food security is a high priority for many people even as knowledge of how to grow, prepare and preserve our food is dwindling. Depending solely on imported items leaves many people feeling vulnerable to the whims of climate, politics and finances. But growing food in Cochrane is rife with the challenges of a difficult climate marked by a short season of hot days, cold nights, little rain and lots of wind.

In addition to the need for community connection and more local food resiliency, Cochranites are interested in alternative ways of living more sustainably with the environment; there is a pragmatic aspect to our western heritage culture that seeks local solutions to local challenges.

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Community Solutions 

Cultivate Cochrane plans to help meet community needs in these areas through the building of a centralized passive solar greenhouse hub. Our greenhouse could be stand alone with meeting rooms, café, commercial kitchen and indoor and outdoor demonstration food gardens, or it could be incorporated within a larger community hub (like a new library, arts centre, innovation hub, or senior’s centre). Our wish is to provide a ‘green’ centre that honours our farming and ranching heritage while moving it into the 21st century of green urban land use, green building and use of smart technology. We wish to show the world “How the West is Now”.