Monday, June 1, 2009

Long-dormant greenhouses again bloom life into cemetery

Thomas C. Kursel (left), president of Forest Home Cemetery on the south side, talks with Growing Power CEO Will Allen about plans to raise vegetables in the greenhouses. The structures, empty for almost a decade, will be heated in winter using aquaponics.

Forest Home Cemetery once again is a place for the living, not just the dead.

Three abandoned, century-old greenhouses that years ago produced flowers to beautify the graves and grounds of the historic south side cemetery are being brought back to life, this time with vegetables.

Empty for nearly a decade because they became too expensive to heat through winter, the A-frame glass greenhouses will be used year-round by the organization Growing Power to grow thousands of pounds of fresh vegetables for city residents and others served by the nonprofit group, based on the north side."We're prolonging people's lives through healthy, affordable food," Growing Power CEO and founder Will Allen said recently, as he watered a sea of seedlings in the largest of the cemetery greenhouses."

We're providing nutrients to keep people living longer, before they wind up out there,"

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