One of the themes Bill Dow and many of the other early SHC leaders frequently discussed was the fact that people’s health, statistically, was more closely related to their economic well-being than to their access to health care facilities. The SHC always had a broad understanding of “health”. While there clearly is a need for access to health care, the need for economic security and development could be considered just as critical for the health of a community and its residents.
This understanding lead to two clear “spinoffs” from the Coalition: “Agricultural Marketing Projects” (AMP) in Tenn., Ala., Ga., and N.C., and also the “Solar Greenhouse Employment Project”.
The “Solar Greenhouse Employment Project” was founded by Bill Dow along with another SHC alum, Randy Hodges, in 1979. Randy worked as the lead construction manager in this demonstration project promoting and building solar greenhouses. These greenhouses, designed to be attached to farmer’s homes, lengthened the farmer’s growing season and provided additional income. They also provided free solar heat into farmhouses during the winter months. The project not only encouraged small farmers to build them for their own use and benefit, but also to construct them for others as a side business.
To read more about Randy Hodges and the “Solar Greenhouse Employment Project” visit this page about his archival collections at UNC.