APR 16 - Source Agrictecture.com
Danny Kovach: Greenhouse Builder By Day, Food Systems Visionary By Night
Every city has visionaries working to transform their local food system. Some operate out of city government, some run hyper-local farming businesses, some create and strengthen social bonds through urban gardens, and others are educating children in and outside of the classroom about our food and where it comes from. In Vancouver, Canada, Danny Kovach is one of these visionaries working to make his city a better place to live.
Danny studied architecture and construction at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. While there, he recalls having a conversation with friends about humans eventually living on Mars, and “how they’re going to need biospheres, which are really just large greenhouses.”
This got him thinking about our food system back here on Earth, and how many of the closed-loop technologies that are currently being developed for urban and controlled-environment farming are the same technologies that will eventually enable us to live in harsh and new environments. Danny credits this conversation with having a large impact on his goals and aspirations since tech school.
But while Danny likes to draw inspiration by thinking about the future, he also is inspired thinking about the past. Since the dawn of humankind, “food has been the common denominator in all cultures,” Danny remarks, “but people have lost touch with it recently.” Danny wants to see people spending more time invested in their food and reconnecting with our roots, and is driven by the urge to help people do so.
For work, Danny designs and sells greenhouses at BC Greenhouse Builders. The company is family run, going back three generations to when it was founded in 1951. As a small company, their focus is on customizable greenhouse structures that will give their clients exactly what they had dreamed up.
“The culture of the company is very much driven towards providing a quality product with great customer service, and I’ve had the good fortune of working with fun and skilled people,” says Danny. “We enjoy coming to work to design and build challenging (and really cool) greenhouses.”
Traditionally, the company has been building custom greenhouses for mostly hobby gardeners looking to grow their own food at home. But more recently, BC Greenhouse Builders has started manufacturing larger institutional projects, such as rooftop greenhouses for universities and elementary schools alike, and more community inspired glasshouse architecture. “I’m very interested in passive design and sustainable architecture,” says Danny, “so there's been a great complementary relationship between what I’m interested in and the direction of manufacturing the company is providing.”