Atop a roof overlooking Manhattan’s skyline at sundown Oct. 25, more than 300 public officials and proud parents of Food and Finance High School students toured a first-of-its-kind aquaponics greenhouse.Philson A.A. Warner, founding director of the Cornell Cooperative Extension – New York City (CUCE-NYC) Hydroponics, Aquaculture, Aquaponics Learning Lab, offered lively, personal tours of the newly opened greenhouse.
The structure is used to grow lettuce and fish through a natural process that conserves energy and the environment.“The youngsters learn to do more with the sciences,” Warner said of his teenage students, whom he called “Cornell colleagues.
”Eight computers monitor “the weather situation above us,” to help control indoor temperatures, moisture and ideal humidity for growing vegetables, Warner said.
“This is what we call a green, green, green greenhouse,” he said, noting it produces “clean, safe, fresh foods. … Nothing goes to waste.”Even its solar panels are producing surplus energy that is fed into the grid.