In the tropical house of ’Little Eden’, an endless summer is created with a focus on sustainability.

The Rennsteig contains a primeval forest. But it also leads past a jungle. The project ’Little Eden’ perfectly creates the illusion of a tropical rainforest, and manages to do so sustainably. The Tropical House at Rennsteig in Kleintettau offers 3,500-square-meters of tropical flora and fauna. It also serves as a pilot project, showcasing the enormous potential in the use of industrial waste heat. Any commercial area with a combined heat and power plant could be a potential source. Here, it ensures permanently summery temperatures, and enormous harvests. Two tons of tropical fruit were recently harvested, including cocoa, avocados and papayas. And because the principle of sustainability also applies to the plants in the large glass domes, the tropical house works in collaboration with the Ecological-Botanical Garden of the University of Bayreuth. Here, scientific research is being conducted to explore the extent to which tropical fruits can also be grown commercially in European greenhouses. This possibility could minimize the CO2-intensive emissions caused by food transportation. The first major project is the lulo, a fruit which comes from the Andes. The lulo tastes like a mix of mango, strawberry and kiwi and looks like a cross between a tomato and a gooseberry. Here, we can see that the Rennsteig is not just about glass, water and wood, but also about the spirit of discovery.

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