Image Credit: empracht via Flickr
Farmer's market, meet solar power.
Solar power, meet farmer's market.
And so begins a beautiful relationship, one whose novelty may surprise many TreeHuggers. The matchmaker? Albuquerque, New Mexico's Downtown Action Team, a non-profit dedicated to renovating the city's downtown. A few months ago, the group set out to see if they could provide enough solar energy to power their farmer's market for its entire season- from June 5 to October 30. The answer? Yes (it is a desert, after all).Working with CleanSwitch, a solar energy system design and installation company, and the University of New Mexico's Sustainability Studies program, Albuquerque has produced what it claims will be the first farmer's market in the country to use only solar power. The challenge, called "From Seed to Sale, Powered by the Sun," will depend on a mobile solar power unit, nicknamed the Solar Roller.
The use of solar power at the farmer's market is not an end in itself, however, says Christopher Goblet of the DAT:
The significance of a Solar Power Growers' Market is less about the power needs of the market and more about the message that market visitors will hopefully take home. While there is a need for additional power, the ultimate goal is to inspire the end consumer. Renewable energy is essential to our economic and environmental sustainability, and this tactile display of solar power in action hopefully will inspire more people to look for new ways to incorporate renewable energy in their own lives.
The Albuquerque Downtown Growers' Market is the second largest in the state, and you can bet on this becoming a new trend in farmer's markets. It's a match made in green heaven.