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

BY COACH MARK SMALLWOOD OF THE RODALE INSTITUTE

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: http://rodaleinstitute.org/2014/stop-feeding-the-beast-and-start-feeding-the-people/ 

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: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.535422156573232.1073741839.293762407405876&type=1
To learn more about the Columbine Elementary PTA go to: http://www.columbinepta.org/ 

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

PRESS RELEASE

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
970.731.2120; dorian@growingspaces.com

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: http://geodesic-greenhouse-kits.com/community/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Boys-Girls-Club-Thank-You-Letter.pdf

Learn more about the Boys and Girls Club of the San Luis Valley: http://www.bgcslv.org/

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: http://www.geodesic-greenhouse-kits.com/growingspaces_grant_application.doc 

February 2014 Dome of the Month Winner

Growing Dome Greenhouse

Congratulations to Neena Cocke Wagnon on winning February’s Dome of the Month contest with this awe inspiring, fuchsia-cloud photo of her 26′ Growing Dome. It seems the clouds themselves are wrapping around the spherical shape of the greenhouse. Neena is so lucky to live in a place where such skies are possible.

Congrats Pine River Library! The “Best Small Library in America 2014″

We are excited to share the news that one of our local libraries and the second place winner of the 2014 Growing Spaces Grant Program, has been named the Best Small Library in America by the Library Journal. This is an amazing accomplishment AND we agree completely! The residents of nearby Bayfield, CO are absolutely lucky to have such a wonderful program that includes at 22′ Growing Dome greenhouse, lending toolshed, and outdoor community garden.

Pine River Library shared their press release with us about the award and the library, and we’d like to share the news with you so you have a chance to learn more about this awesome library.

Library Journal Names Pine River Library, CO, the Best Small Library in America 2014 Award celebrating its 10th year

Check out the library’s website at www.prlibrary.org 

New York, NY, January 29, 2014— Pine River Library(PRL), in Bayfield, CO, has been named the 2014 Best Small Library in America by Library Journal. This annual award, cosponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was created in 2005 to showcase the exemplary work of public libraries serving populations under 25,000. PRL, which serves a population of 8,749, was chosen for its leadership-minded staff; community support; strong partnerships; and the many initiatives that serve the varying needs of its patrons.

Pine River Public Library GreenhouseThe library’s motto, “connecting people to possibilities” is reflected in the tremendous change the library has undergone over the past two years. “Lots of libraries are there for the community, but here in Bayfield, the community built the library,” says library director Amy Dodson. Dodson attributes much of the change and its success to the community’s support via funding and volunteer time. From the total annual budget of $582,000, or $66.52 per capita, $47,408 goes towards materials, and the rest keeps PRL open seven days (62 hours) and pays for a full-time staff of 8.5, of whom 17 percent are professional librarians. These figures would not be possible without the community’s support.

“Pine River Library sets a high bar for libraries of any size, and provides so much for other small libraries to replicate as they create services to help their communities thrive,” notes Rebecca T. Miller, editor-in-chief of Library Journal. “As the award itself celebrates its first ten years, we are very excited by the creativity, local leadership and engagement, and innovation articulated at this wonderful small library.”

In 2013, PRL’s physical space was expanded and designed to be flexible and responsive to the community. New space includes a larger room for community meetings; a new teen zone to host after-school activities, additional Wi-Fi access; and a “garage” door with the ability to open to accommodate program overflow. Additionally, the library expanded its services outdoors in its “Living Library,” a 17,000 square foot area that includes a 24-bed community garden, fruit orchard, 26-foot geodesic greenhouse, and new programming on topics such as food preparation and canning and preserving. This initiative illustrates that PRL is a library built “by the people” as dozens of volunteers donated hundreds of hours to complete the garden beds, toolshed, and greenhouse.

In recent years the library has undergone a technological transformation. In 2007, the library launched a technology-lending program so patrons could experiment with devices. The program launched with two laptops and has grown to 50 gadgets on loan, with annual circulation of more than 1,000. PRL’s new story time room includes an interactive SMART Board to use with digital story time and its community room has two interactive white boards for use during public computer classes. Technology training is another big community initiative. In 2013 new class offerings included Microsoft Word and Excel, WordPress, SEO, and digital photography.

Partnerships are critical at PRL for educational and program offerings and outreach. The library works with the Bayfield School District on a program that makes the most of late-start days in the school while teachers receive in-service training. PRL’s role includes hosting story time activities at the middle and elementary schools while teachers are in training. The program allows library staff to reach out to underserved populations and has been beneficial to both the library and the school district.Additional partnerships include a free babysitting training course for local teens through the American Red Cross, which includes CPR and first aid certification.

Two finalists will also receive prizes. LJ proudly named Bertha Voyer Memorial Library in Honey Grove, TX, and St. Helena Public Library in CA as the finalists for the 2014 Best Small Library in America. Both libraries feature the programs, tech savvy, and commitment to the community that signify the Best Small Library in America.

Pine River Library will receive a $20,000 cash award to support its services and outreach to the community. The two finalist libraries will each receive a $10,000 cash award. The winner and finalists will also receive conference costs for two library representatives to attend the

2014 Public Library Association conference in Indianapolis, IN and recognition at an award celebration.

See more information about the winner and finalists in the cover story in the February 15, 2014 issue of Library Journal and online http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2014/01/awards/best-small-library-in-america-2014-pine-river-library-co.

 

About Library Journal

Founded in 1876, Library Journal is one of the oldest and most respected publications covering the library field. Over 75,000 library directors, administrators, and staff in public, academic, and special libraries read LJ. Library Journalreviews over 8000 books, audiobooks, videos, databases, and web sites annually, and provides coverage of technology, management, policy, and other professional concerns. For more information, visit www.libraryjournal.com

 

Amy W. Dodson, MLIS
Library Director
395 Bayfield Center Drive
Bayfield, Colorado 81122
(970) 884-2222 ext. 511

 

Celebrate Everything – Growing Spaces Values

By Puja Dhyan Parsons

When we started Growing Spaces LLC in 1989, our effort was to build a socially responsible business based on the values and practices we are living. One of them was the idea to “Celebrate Everything.” For me that means the attempt to shift inside, and see the potentials in every experience as well as to acknowledge the participation in an intricate order that is beyond our comprehension. It allows us to remember the mystery of existence and to remember from a place of humility that we are a part of a larger life, that is often beyond our understanding. If one can remember humor and the “light touch” of celebration, life is just plain easier! When we see the humor of interactions and our own mistakes, we can heal. We all know that “Laughter is the best medicine” and often it is a sign of great intimacy and trust.

The practice of Celebrating is to look from a place that is open to inquiry and happy to see progress even in the disappointments of life. As we are a Conscious business, emotional intelligence and reflection is a part of our base line. Self-inquiry is a part of our accountability. Celebration is a conscious choice to remember our blessings.

As founders, we wanted to express Celebration as a call to realizing the power of choice. At any moment, we know we have the ability to take disappointment and even despair and step back to find the possibilities in the moment and change our view. We already knew when we started Growing Spaces in 1989 that we can change our reality by changing our stories. Part of our cultural trance is to constantly hear our own critical “self-talk” shaming by dissecting one’s performance with criticism. “Celebrating everything” is for us a return to gratitude, and the recognition that we can see the “cup half full rather than half empty.” Developing an awareness of acceptance is developing a capacity to Celebrate. The power of the moment is that if we can be here now, we are free of the past and the tendencies to fear the future. Then, the creative process itself can have an attunement and timing that is filled to overflowing with all that inspires us. We are capable of returning to the larger perspective by returning to the moment. The mind wants to cancel this.

Udgar Parsons & Puja Dhyan Parsons

Many are aware that we easily tell ourselves stories that are illusory and then act as if they are true. We have all heard it said that the mind is a helpful servant and a dangerous master. This is because the mind is limited and our appraisal of ourselves and our world depends upon more than this part of intelligence. Caroline Myss discusses this beautifully in her book Defy Gravity, when she says “Achieving the impossible requires that you outwit your voice of reason and access the whimsical part of your nature that inherently delights in the possibilities of the imagination. We are at the ‘beyond reason’ point of our evolution, meaning that the type and scope of the problems we are now confronting cannot be resolved by a mere gathering of ‘reasonable’ people around a table.”

“Out beyond ideas of right-doing and wrong- doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there” says the 13th Century poet Rumi. He is pointing to the safety of a relationship that forgives or accepts unconditionally.

The safety of a work environment or one’s home sanctuary is the same. If we accept the human condition we can celebrate our ability to cut through our stories. Celebrating everything, we can relax, let go, and start again. In the martial arts, this is called “centering” and “extending ki” or relaxing and extending our energy beyond our physical/mental/emotional limitations with intention. Bringing attention to the moment in this way makes us strong and develops our capacity. It has the effect of self-mastery and changes our experience of our world.

An atmosphere of Celebration and appreciation is much more of a draw for the enthusiasm that is creative. I heard John MacKay Co-CEO and Founder of Whole Foods say that they end all their meetings with “appreciations.” Often, Udgar and I share our gratitude to remind us of how incredible the gifts of this life have been. When we are most despairing, our practices pull us back into the wholeness of life and the focus on all that surrounds each experience, rather than the challenges that seem insurmountable.

In the practice of celebrating our staff and the small wins in each day we are stronger, and more able to accomplish what we have set out to do. Every problem is an opportunity if we celebrate our challenges and see them as the path to growth and excellence. Our work in the world is transformative, and we aim to help partly by transforming ourselves. If we have an attitude of openness and can celebrate even the most difficult of situations, as a part of a life lived consciously, we are allowing greater fulfillment and truth to enter our experience.

It is said well by the teacher OSHO, in these passages: “Have you ever seen a tree depressed? Have you seen a bird anxiety-ridden? Have you seen an animal neurotic? No, life is not like that, not at all. Only man has gone wrong somewhere, and he has gone wrong somewhere because he thinks himself to be very wise, very clever. Your cleverness is your disease. When thousands and thousands of people around the earth are celebrating, singing, dancing, ecstatic, drunk with the divine, there is no possibility of any global suicide.”

Seven Years and Countless Flowers at Colonel Wright Elementary

We recently had the opportunity to catch up with the principal of Colonel Wright Elementary of the North Wasco School District in The Dalles, Oregon. Their 26′ Growing Dome with twin-wall polycarbonate glazing is now 7 years old and year after year of students continue to enjoy the space. So many school gardens these days are filled with food, but this unique greenhouse is full of flowers. The students are learning about the care and upkeep of the plants for the sake of the plants themselves. A reward for good behavior in some of the classrooms is the opportunity to have lunch in the middle of a cold winter day among the beauty of the flowers inside the Growing Dome. Some classes also grow and sell flowers as fundraisers.

This beautiful program was recently featured in the local newspaper “The Dalles Chronicle”. We wanted to share the article with you:  http://www.thedalleschronicle.com/news/2014/feb/04/students-tap-flower-power/

The Dalles Chronicle School Greenhouse

Photo from: http://www.thedalleschronicle.com/news/2014/feb/04/students-tap-flower-power/