Mezzacello After Dark
Mezzacello Urban Farm is a very special place to me. People rarely get to see it at night, but this week was a refreshing change of pace. We hosted a troupe of Girl Scouts to explore STEM Careers at an urban farm and they were the first group to experience Mezzacello After Dark.
The power systems at Mezzacello are mostly solar arrays and Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT) powered by wind and traffic. The VAWT systems even light themselves when they turn. But they add a certain charm to the farm at night.
Camps In Autumn and After Dark
It Is Better To Light a Single Candle Than To Curse The DarknessWilliam Lonsdale Watkinson
Traditionally we have run workshops, after school, and summer camps in the day. We had the opportunity to hold a workshop and tour of Mezzacello Urban Farm at 7:00 PM EST (14:00 UTC) and we wrapped it up by 8:30 PM EST (15:30 UTC). The night had very little impact though.
We have slowly been upgrading our systems at the farm to manage things at night. This new series of camps will allow us to extend our programming not only into the evening, but well into the winter as well. We will keep you posted on these updates and the necessary infrastructure in the coming weeks.
Better To Light a Single Candle Than To Curse The Darkness
This is one of Rick’s favorite quotes. All of the lighting and electrical systems run on either solar, wind, kinetic storage, batteries – or in a pinch, the grid. We kept adding systems to deter predators and make upkeep easier.
It never occurred to us that this light would lead to more opportunities to advance our mission. It came about quite by accident. We had 30 people there, and only I was worried about the lack of light in the front of the farm.
As we add new infrastructure, systems, and programming to our Learning Lab we will also extend the idea of new spaces, heat sources and lighting. This is a new direction for us. I am happy to embrace the night with the aid of the light.