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The McMurdo greenhouse.

Green House, White Out

The greenhouse at McMurdo Station is a respite from Antarctica's angular whiteness. Full of humidity, musty scents, and color, it was started in 1989 with two abandoned Navy huts and $75 in seeds. The building today supplies fresh essentials like cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and a dozen fresh herbs to the galley (cafeteria). The sole employee is Karen Harvey (foreground), an agroecologist from the University of California, Santa Cruz; some volunteers, including surveyor Tighe Urelius (background), help out. Two hammocks offer refuge to frazzled townies. "They come up almost every night," Harvey said. "I'm not here, but I can tell because they always fold the hammocks up differently. Sometimes a cherry tomato or a jalapeno might be gone." (Photo by Chris Linder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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