I made a comment the other day in a non-professional setting about greenhouse products. The reaction was entirely negative. All of the climate change conversation that refers to ‘greenhouse gasses’ has brought a cloud over the protected agriculture business (pun entirely intended).
The problem with so much of our information is that it only comes from the surface of the issue; there isn’t the depth to reporting or understanding like there was a generation ago. Our perception comes from less than 10 seconds of exposure and then we move on to the next shiny object.
I took the liberty of providing a monologue about the benefits of growing in greenhouses: lower usage rates of fertilizer and pesticides, decreased water usage, higher yields, longer growing seasons, potential for urban growing and so on. That changed the opinion for the 5 people that listened to me. What do we do about the general population that has been conditioned to associate the word ‘greenhouse’ with something negative?
Perception becomes reality, right? We need to take a proactive approach to changing that perception. Will Allen of Growing Power in Milwaukee is doing just that http://www.growingpower.org/. His group is teaching the next generation about the benefits of urban agriculture. We are proud to be working with him on a couple of projects. The positive image of all aspects of fresh food must overcome and negative perceptions. We all need to work on that for the collective benefit of our families and our businesses.