Skip to content

2014 Growing Spaces In-Kind Grant Winners Announced

We are pleased to announce the three winners of this year’s Growing Spaces In-kind Grant Awards. Each of these well deserving organizations has diligently planned and raised funds for their school and/or community gardening program that will include a Growing Dome® greenhouse. It is with great joy that we join the movements to contribute to and support these beautiful projects.

First Place: Boys and Girls Club of the San Luis Valley in Alamosa, CO
The Boys & Girls Club was working ahead of schedule this year and we awarded their grant early so they could build their new greenhouse before the spring season. Read more here:

Second Place: Littleton Academy in the Littleton Public School District of Littleton, CO
Littleton Academy GreenhouseLittleton Academy has placed health and wellness as a top priority for their students. Principal Shelly Russell had this to say about adding the Growing Dome to Littleton Academy’s existing outdoor garden, “Receiving these funds would help to significantly increase the awareness, participation and enjoyment of the garden, greenhouse, health and sustainability activities among Littleton Academy students, staff and families and move our community toward important wellness goals.” The mission of this project is “to create an environmentally efficient and sustainable greenhouse which can be funded after inception by the revenue generated from the selling of seeds, flowers for Mother’s day, organic vegetables, and herbs. A greenhouse gives the capability to grow and produce outside of the normal growing season, so it would be a year-round enterprise. This committee has already built a school garden from the ground up; we are now looking to expand the seasonal benefits of a garden to a greenhouse which produces year-round… The students of today are the environmental stewards of the future, and by instilling a love and understanding of the life cycle, we are nurturing a group of environmentally-responsible young students who will be the decision-makers of the next generation.” Littleton’s efforts have been well promoted. You can learn more about what they are doing by visiting their Facebook page: and there’s a great fundraising video on their webpage:

Third Place: Eva’s Village in Paterson, NJ
Eva's VillageEva’s Village has a mission to “feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, treat the addicted, and provide medical and dental care to the poor with respect for the human dignity of each individual.” They have a culinary arts school for their clients and a community kitchen that serves over 300 people every day including mothers and children at Eva’s Village Hope Residence. Their primary outcome is to increase the amount of fresh organic product available to their Community Kitchen and Hope Residence.  Eva’s village has been in operation for 35 years and has over 1,200 volunteers. They feel this project will have an impact on people’s lives because replacing pre-prepared, conventional food with organic food will provide more nutrients to people, offer superior tasting meals, and reduce the amount of carcinogens they are exposed to, especially the children. They express “quite simply we will be feeding our clients food that is healthier for them and their children.” To read more about the Eva’s Village Greenhouse Project and Eva’s Village itself visit: can find them on Facebook at:

Growing Spaces LLC has a mission of helping people live a better, healthier way of life AND raising awareness about caring for this planet we live on. We are a socially responsible business that has always given back to schools and communities around the world, primarily in the form of discounts on our Growing Dome greenhouses. These discounts to school and community Growing Domes are available through the Growing Spaces In-Kind Grant Program. We accept applications throughout the year for this program and the deadline for next year’s applications is March 30th, 2015. Awards are announced in May 2015. To apply for the grant you must fill out and submit our application form. All instructions on how to do so are contained on the first page:

IMPROVED! Gallina Polycarbonate Glazing

Made in USAAs a socially responsible and green business, we are always seeking out ways to source materials Made in America. Products Made in America supply valuable jobs that support our economy, and reduce fossil fuel use due to shorter transport distances from suppliers to our manufacturing facility.

We often have to weigh a number of factors when applying our company values in sourcing. In the past, the only place we could source greenhouse polycarbonate glazing panels (clear covering for the Growing Dome) was from Italy. We have been willing to make this concession for years because the polycarbonate glazing is a superior product. We determined that the 15-20 year lifespan of the polycarbonate compensated for higher transport fuel consumption, and was much better than a more local, disposable covering that would need to be manufactured, shipped, and replaced much more frequently.

Now we no longer have to make this trade-off as we’ve recently discovered a source of polycarbonate glazing in the United States! Not only is it made in the USA, it’s also eco-friendly! The new Gallina polycarbonate glazing is made using between 10-40% recycled polycarbonate materials. This new polycarbonate is recyclable and after 15-20 years of use, the panels can go off for recycling rather than to a landfill – we love that, and we think you will too! Even better, the cross-hatch structure makes this new polycarbonate stronger than the former product. Win, win, win!

This Gallina Polycarbonate Glazing will now come standard in all of our Growing Dome greenhouse kits at no extra cost to you! This is cause to celebrate!


New! Gallina Polycarbonate Glazing


Former, Macrolux Polycarbonate




4th Annual Growing Spaces Symposium

Saturday, May 31st, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Join us for this fun filled day at the Pine River Public Library in Bayfield, CO to learn about gardening in the Growing Dome from both new and long-standing instructors of the Growing Spaces team. Topics will cover aspects of soil, composting, insects, seeding, and transplanting and will include interactive exercises in the 22′ Growing Dome and outdoor community garden at the “Living Library”.

Instructors include:

  • Dana Hayward: Master of Agricultural Sciences, Master Gardener
  • Heather Burger: Permaculture greenhouse gardener, landscape designer
  • Claudia Stover: Growing Dome gardener, water gardener
  • Udgar Parsons: Growing Spaces founder, inventor of the Growing Dome
  • Stacey Couch: Growing Dome gardener

Presentations will be on the following topics:

  • Soils
    •  How to choose the right soil for your new Growing Dome
    • Already own a Growing Dome? Bring a sample of your soil along for analysis.
    • Learn about maintaining soil through the years
  • Water plant propagation
    • What plants work in the unique environment of the above ground pond
    • How to maintain your plants through the seasons
  • What food to plant when
    • A month-by-month outline on what to sow, transplant, and harvest
    • Receive an electronic planting calendar by email
  • The history of the Growing Dome
    • In celebration of 25 years in business – stories of the evolution of the Growing Dome
  • Composting
    • What to and not to put in your compost
    • Hot composting
    • How long to let your pile “cure”
  • Seeding & transplanting
  • Insects: Pests & Beneficials
  • Networking with other Growing Dome owners
    • Bring your lunch and spend the hour networking with other owners
    • Find out what’s working for them and share your ideas

Fee: $50 for the early bird registration (by May 10th) and $60 from May 11-31.


These classes fill up fast and space is limited, so register early!

To Register email or call 800-753-9333

Durango Tour de Domes

durango tour de domes

Join us Sunday, May 4 from 11:00 – 3:00 for a free, self-directed driving or bike tour of local Growing Dome greenhouses in the Durango area and see how your neighbors are gardening year-round!

Six Growing Dome owners in Durango invite you to see the flourishing gardens they enjoy year-round. This tour provides an opportunity to learn about the potential of growing your own food year round and sustainably in the Rocky Mountains with minimal, if any, reliance on electricity or fossil fuels. It also provides local Growing Dome owners an opportunity to showcase the many unique ways a Growing Dome can serve those needs.

Richard on his 42’ Growing Dome: “It’s very satisfying to eat something that you not only know where it came from, how it was grown, and what was added (or not), but that is truly fresh picked. With a Growing Dome this is not a seasonal event, it is a lifestyle.”

Click on the map below for directions and a description of each Growing Dome.



  • If you are interested in learning more about a Growing Dome, please sign the guest sheet on location.
  • Growing Domes are only available for viewing during the allotted hours
  • Food, beverages, pets and smoking are not prohibited inside the Growing Domes
  • Children must be supervised at all times
  • A visitors take full responsibility for their own safety on this tour. In no way will Growing Spaces or the Growing Dome owners be held liable for any accidents or incidents that may occur while participating in this self-drive or bike tour. Please exercise caution at all time

DIRECTIONS (Destinations will be marked with balloons)

All directions begin from the intersection of Camino del Rio and Main Ave.


11033 CR 250, Durango, CO

Head north on Main Ave (which becomes Hwy. 550) for 8.3 miles, to Trimble Crossing. Turn right onto CR 252, cross the Animas River, and at mile 9.3, turn left onto CR 250. Head north to mile 13.8 and turn left onto a paved driveway at 11033 CR 250. (Driveway is just north of a series of river stone houses).


373 Hermosa Meadows Road, Durango, CO

Head north on Main Ave. (which becomes Hwy. 550) for 8.3 miles, to Trimble Crossing. Continue on Hwy. 550 for another 0.7 miles to the first right turn, Hermosa Meadows Road. Cross the railroad tracks and continue for 0.4 miles. Destination is on the left.


120 12-Point Buck Trail, Durango, CO

Head north on Main Ave. to 25 Street. Turn left onto West 25th. 25th becomes Junction St/CR 204. Follow CR 204 to Sailing Hawks at 3.5 (total) miles. Turn right onto 12 Point Buck Trail. Destination is the first driveway on your right (just past the dumpsters).


2008 Highland Avenue, Durango, CO

Follow Main Ave. north and turn left onto 22nd Street. Proceed past West 3rd, until the road becomes Montview Parkway. Follow to Highland Ave. Turn right onto Highland. Destination is on the right (2nd house from the corner).


602 Powderhorn Trail, Hesperus, CO

Head south on Camino del Rio and take Hwy. 160 West. Proceed 2.9 miles and turn left on Wildcat Canyon Road. Stay on Wildcat (which becomes CR 141) and turn left on dirt-road CR 211 at mile 8.2. Proceed 0.8 miles and turn left onto Powderhorn and continue uphill for 0.4 miles. Destination is on the right.


12357 Highway 550, Durango, CO

Head south on Camino del Rio then, east to Hwy. 160/550. Drive 5.2 miles and turn right onto Hwy. 550. Continue on 550 South for 4.3miles (9.5 miles in total) to just after the pavement turns from 2 lanes to 4 lanes. Destination is on the right – Growing Dome is highly visible before turn.

Guest Blog: Stop Feeding the Beast and Start Feeding the People


Follow Coach’s blogs posts at Maria’s Farm Country KitchenEcoWatch, and Rodale Institute

Coach Mark Smallwood of Rodale InstituteHave you ever wondered how anyone makes any money on a $2.00 bag of nacho-cheese–flavored corn chips or a $0.25 apple? Economists and policy wonks have been talking about how we privatize profits and socialize loss here in the U.S. for at least a decade. If your eyes glazed over when you read that, you are not alone. Unfortunately, we can’t afford to ignore how this big picture idea affects each and every one of us. What does it mean for Main Street America?

The way we grow our nation’s food is the perfect snapshot of this concept. Organic activists and locavores have also been talking about the same concept for just as long, if not longer: the hidden costs of cheap, industrial food.

We have a system of predatory agriculture in which corporations (aka Big Ag) pursue private gain relentlessly, regardless of the social consequences. To bring it closer to home, social consequences can be defined as anything from polluting our water, land, and air to impacting the health of our families to rendering the business of farming economically unsustainable.

Costs such as environmental degradation, declining health, and economic insecurity aren’t reflected in the price tag because they aren’t included in corporate budgets. This is one big reason why there are plenty of profits to be made in toxic agricultural chemicals, junk food, and GMOs. But these costs are in fact a burden on us all. And, as every parent tries to teach his or her children, actions have consequences.

All the garbage that allows Big Ag to make obscene profits is left to our communities to clean up. Take, for example, the Chesapeake Bay and Gulf of Mexico’s dead zones. Although caused in part by the overuse of synthetic fertilizers and poorly timed applications of raw manures and biosolids, the negative effects and the “tab” for cleanup are picked up by the American public.

We are what we eat, and we are carrying the costs of corporate greed. In the private profit/social loss equation, farmers lose, consumers lose, and communities lose.

But life cycle or true cost accounting when it comes to our food system is a numbers nightmare. How do we weigh and measure things like erosion, chemical leaching, and run-off, or loss of pollinators like the honeybee and other biodiversity? How do we make a solid connection between food production/consumption and the insidious health impacts of chronic, low-dose exposure to agricultural chemicals and our obesity epidemic?

In a global summit last December whose goal was to “investigate why our current economic system makes it more profitable to produce food in ways that damage the environment and human health, instead of rewarding methods of production that deliver benefits,” world leaders recognized that not all agricultural systems are created equal. Farming that not only sustains status quo, but also creates a healthier environment is possible. “Some farming methods have public benefit,” wrote Dan Imhoff in his coverage of the summit.

Luckily, it doesn’t take a global summit or a panel of researchers to figure out what to do: We need to support the organic farmers who are creating a public benefit. It isn’t just about growing more, bigger, faster. It’s about nourishing ourselves and our families, our communities, and the farmers who choose to feed all of us rather than feed the corporate beast.

Coach Mark Smallwood has been dedicated to environmental sustainability, efficiency, and conservation for decades. Since joining Rodale Institute in December 2010, he has brought heritage livestock back to the institute’s 333-acre farm, expanded and enhanced its research efforts, and launched Your 2 Cents, a national campaign to support and promote new organic farmers. In recognition for his sustainability efforts, Coach was chosen as a messenger for Al Gore’s Climate Project, presenting to more than 15,000 people on the effects of global warming. Last, but certainly not least, as a longtime organic farmer and biodynamic gardener, Coach has raised chickens, goats, sheep, and pigs, and driven a team of oxen.

Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach. For more than sixty years, we’ve been researching the best practices of organic agriculture and sharing our findings with farmers and scientists throughout the world, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating consumers about how going organic is the healthiest option for people and the planet.

Reposted with Permission from the Rodale Institute.
Original Article can be found at: 

Columbine Elementary’s New “Growing Dome” Greenhouse – a 21st Century Learning Center

Columbine Elementary’s New “Growing Dome” Greenhouse – a 21st Century Learning Center

Boulder community unites for hands-on, year-round garden education

Boulder, CO March 10, 2014 – On Friday students, parents and staff at Columbine Elementary are holding an “Open Greenhouse” – the first chance for the community to check out their recently constructed 33 foot-diameter geodesic Growing Dome Greenhouse.  The new greenhouse is considered a pilot for BVSD schools, expanding their current Garden to Table program for year-round gardening and a hands-on learning center for students.

school greenhouse constructionInstallation and construction of the Growing Dome Greenhouse has been organized over the last five years by Columbine Elementary PTA volunteers and was made possible thanks to generous donations from Columbine Elementary families, staff and community members, as well as community partners including Whole Foods Market, Growing Spaces, ReSource Boulder, Maxwell Family Fund, Morningstar Homes, Skycastle Construction, Green Roofs of Colorado, Western Disposal, City of Boulder Family Resource Schools, BVSD Facilities, and more.  What started as a design idea as part of Columbine’s remodel in 2012 has become a reality.

The Growing Dome was constructed the first four days of March by approximately 30 volunteers – parents, teachers, neighbors and community members, with two supervisors from the company that makes the geodesic domes, Growing Spaces.  The greenhouse is designed to be off-grid – requiring no supplemental heating.  It features a water tub that acts as a heat battery, with solar powered fans, waterfall, and also LED motion-sensor lighting thanks to Citizens for Clean Energy.

The pilot Greenhouse and Garden to Table collaborative programming is possible through a partnership with GrowingGardens and the Growe Foundation.  The goals of the greenhouse project are to:

  1. Encourage children to seek, grow , prepare and eat nourishing, delicious, sustainably grown food
  2. Empower them to make choices that have a positive influence on their personal health, family, community and environment
  3. Create a more vibrant learning environment

Programs in the Greenhouse are free to students and taught by GrowingGardenseducators. Teachers are invited to sign up for classes which are aligned with grade level academic standards and complement lessons taught through the Growe Foundations’ Garden to Table Program.  From learning about seeds, edible parts of plants to life cycles, aquaponics and gardening for health to greenhouse growing design and planting, the comprehensive Greenhouse education program is truly a 21st Century learning lab experience reaching approximately 500 students per year through school and after school programs.

columbine elementary greenhouseColumbine PTA invites community members to join for the “Open Greenhouse” ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, March 14th from 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM at Columbine Elementary.

“We are excited to offer year-round, hands-on gardening education and an outdoor learning center to our students,” says Micah Parkin, PTA board member and greenhouse project lead. “The greenhouse is an excellent way for students to see their academic learning from the classroom extended in the real word, connecting what they have learned in math, science and social students as they engage in greenhouse activities – and, they will have fun while doing it!”

To view more photos of the Columbine Elementary Growing Dome visit:
To learn more about the Columbine Elementary PTA go to: 

Beautiful Blooms in Northern New Mexico Greenhouse – March 2014

We recently received some lovely photos from the new owner of a 22′ Growing Dome in northern New Mexico. Here’s what Jack Langston had to share, “The Growing Dome is great – we had fresh lettuce and several other vegetable items all winter long. As you can see the peach tree is in full bloom and is now starting to produce fruit.”

PRESS RELEASE: Colorado Greenhouse Company Celebrates 25 Years of Product Innovation and Ethical Business Practices


For Immediate Release
Colorado Greenhouse Company Celebrates 25 Years of Product Innovation and Ethical Business Practices

PAGOSA SPRINGS, CO., March 6, 2014 — Growing Spaces, LLC, a Pagosa Springs based greenhouse company announced today the celebration of their 25th year in business. Since 1989 the company has been designing and manufacturing geodesic Growing Dome® greenhouse kits that utilize renewable energy, while creating quality jobs and bringing business to Southwest Colorado.

25 years ago, after working on concepts developed by Buckminster Fuller at the Windstar Foundation in Aspen, CO, Michael Udgar Parsons was inspired to found Growing Spaces. His aim was to develop a greenhouse that could thrive even in the deep wilderness and cold winters of the Rocky Mountains. He soon realized that his product and company could become agents for positive change in the world. Years later his legacy continues on while following a sustainable business model that focuses on being an ethical, responsible company that strives to take care of the planet as much as its own employees.

Long thought to be “ahead of its time,” Growing Spaces and its greenhouses have become a platform for teaching and promoting a more sustainable lifestyle for people in all 50 states and 13 countries around the world. Empowering their customers to grow their own fresh, organic foods year-round also encourages a greater harmony with the Earth’s natural systems – a focal point of the company’s values based culture.

CEO and co-founder, Puja Dhyan Parsons, shares her excitement both in the accomplishment of the past and in what the future holds, “Although we have been around for 25 years, we feel the time is NOW to embrace innovative thinking that can return our world and our lives to a natural balance and healthy sense of wholeness. We encourage a life that thrives on all levels, and hope that we contribute to that end with our product, our caring for our customer, and our planet as well as our educational programs of support for those who buy from us.”

Over the years, Growing Spaces’ has had the opportunity to collaborate with a number of fantastic organizations including Make a Wish Foundation, Jamie Oliver’s American Road Show, The Boys and Girls Club of America, Solar Living Institute and the Rodale Institute.

The Shumei Natural Agriculture Garden at the world renowned Rodale Institute in Pennsylvania, was created seven years ago to showcase natural agricultural principles.  Eileen Weinsteiger, Shumei Natural Agriculture Garden Manager spoke of how imperative this unique greenhouse was to their success, “We wanted a greenhouse that supported sustainability, efficiency, art, beauty, the Rodale mission and the Shumei philosophy. Growing Spaces geodesic domes fulfilled our mission, greenhouse needs and provided an educational element for visitors to our demonstration gardens. The dome design is new to many visitors so they have the opportunity to see firsthand the wonderful attributes of the Growing Dome.”

The company’s success has been recognized by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade when they were named one of Colorado Companies to Watch Award in 2010. They are also 4-time winner of the Top Company Green Award for Pagosa Springs and were a finalist for the Colorado Ethics award. Their recognition and years of experience led to being featured on the HGTV and BBC America, as well as in Sunset Magazine.

The company plans to mark the occasion with a Special Edition “Silver” Growing Dome Greenhouse.


For more information:
Dorian McKenzie, Director of Operations, Growing Spaces

Shumei Natural Agricultural Garden Growing Dome Provides Midwinter Solace

Rodale Institute GreenhouseSeven years ago when the Shumei/Rodale Team was designing the new Shumei Natural Agriculture Demonstration Garden to showcase a small homestead and Natural Agriculture principles it was imperative to include a unique greenhouse. We wanted a greenhouse that supported sustainability, efficiency, art, beauty, the Rodale mission and the Shumei philosophy. Growing Spaces geodesic domes fulfilled our mission, greenhouse needs and provided an educational element for visitors to our demonstration gardens. The dome design is new to many visitors so they have the opportunity to see first hand the wonderful attributes of the Growing Dome. The 22’ Growing Dome that we purchased seven years ago has proven that extreme outdoor temperatures are buffered by the quality of the efficient components. This was a very cold year for our area here in Pennsylvania, we experienced temperatures below 0 degrees Fahrenheit in January and February 2014, our lows in the greenhouse were just below freezing. Although we lost some of our sensitive warm loving plants, hardy greens and herbs did not succumb to the harsh winter tundra-like conditions. Because this is an un-heated greenhouse we winterize the greenhouse and keep plants cozy during the extreme cold conditions, by mulching the plants and the perimeter glazing at soil level of the Growing Dome in the growing beds with thick layers of straw. Next winter straw bales will be placed on the exterior walls of the Growing Dome to provide additional insulation. The greenhouse is used to start plants for the Shumei Natural Agriculture gardens, hold tender plants and grow hardy greens during the winter months.

For me the Growing Dome in winter is my way to connect with the natural world, a place of solace where I can feel and smell the vibrance of the living soil. To grow food in the winter is a way to enhance my connectedness and appreciate my link and love for the beauty of the environment. The added bonus is supplementing my diet with greens grown in pure soil, a gateway to health both physically and mentally. Most of our organic vegetables that we consume in the winter months are shipped in from California, Mexico, and Florida so growing greens in the Growing Dome is very important on many levels. By growing hardy greens we have the satisfaction that we are contributing to a more sustainable life style and helping to minimize the pollution problem. I feel that the Seasonal Affective Disorder that plagues so many in the winter months may be minimized by working with plants, water and the soil in a beautiful structure such as the Growing Dome greenhouse. Working in the soil, feeling its energy has a very positive and healing effect on the senses.

Eileen Weinsteiger

Shumei Natural Agriculture Garden Manager
Rodale Institute
Kutztown, PA 19530

Shumei Natural Agriculture DomeShumei Natural Agriculture Greenhouse

First Place! Boys & Girls Club of San Luis Valley

We are very excited to announce, albeit a bit early, the first place winners of our 2014 Growing Spaces In-Kind Grant Program! The Boys and Girls Club of the San Luis Valley was moving ahead so quickly that we had an emergency session of the Grant Program Committee to make a decision and keep the club on schedule. As you see it’s February in one of the coldest places in the state of Colorado and still they are starting on construction. We are more than impressed by their motivation, dedication, and drive when it comes to providing exceptional services for the youth of their community.

Boys and Girls Club of San Luis Valley Growing Dome

Construction is underway! The tarps are in place to help thaw the ground for installation of concrete piers. Photo courtesy of the Boys & Girls Club of the San Luis Valley

Upon receiving news of their grant, they sent us this lovely thank you letter:

Wow! Thank you so very much for the grant of funds to offset the costs of the Growing Dome. It will be the first year-round Growing Dome and year round gardening programming of any Boys & Girls Club in the United States. We are so excited to be working with you!

The Boys & Girls Clubs of America has been the number one youth organization in the country for the past 18 years. Our Formula for Impact stresses Healthy Lifestyles, Academic Success and Leadership/Community ability. The Growing Dome gardening programs will cover all of those areas. We will even be able to add STEM programming!

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the San Luis Valley was established in 1992. This community raised 2.5 million dollars and by 2000, we had a beautiful facility and adjacent “play” space for our club members. I have been blessed to be part of the BGCA mission and the BGCSLV for the past 8 months. In that time, we have doubled the number of youth and children we serve. Currently, we are averaging 115 youth a day (up to 150 on early-release Wednesdays). Most of our members attend the club every day of the week. BGCA has proven that members that attend the club more than twice a week are four times likely to graduate high school with a plan for their future.

Again, thank you Growing Spaces for your generosity, encouragement and expertise as we go forward to “ensure that all youth, especially those that need us most, are offered opportunities to realize their full potential as responsible, caring and productive citizens in a richly diverse world”. We owe it to our children and youth to provide the best facilities, the best staff, the best programming and the best environment that we can possibly produce.

Kindest regards,

Lynn C. Cotton
Executive Director

To see to full letter visit here:

Learn more about the Boys and Girls Club of the San Luis Valley:

NOTE: Second and third place winner positions for the 2014 Growing Spaces Grant program are still awaiting approval in March 2014. There’s still time to submit your applications at: