Tag Archives: cost estimate

5 ways to pay for a school greenhouse

9 Dec

The greenhouse under construction, October 2010.

We haven’t thought about paying for the structure of the greenhouse for a good three weeks, and it’s been a relief. The biggest stress in getting the greenhouse into the ground was finding out how to pay for it. So today, we’ll be sharing 5 ways to pay for your own cool project.

  1. Look for clean energy grants in your area. If your project will educate students about climate, organic food production, or energy production/conservation, local agencies would probably love to fund it.
  2. Look for local youth- or community-based grants. If students are interested in producing food or plants for sale, you could add small business grants for youth into your search.
  3. Consider selling advance shares of produce to parents. Calculate how much food/flowers/etc you can produce in your new greenhouse, and sell shares in advance to raise money. Google “Community Supported Agriculture” for more information.
  4. Ask your supplier for an educational discount. Some greenhouse kit companies will offer a 10% or greater discount for educational structures. The local Poly-Tex, Inc. gave us a generous discount.
  5. Hold a benefit event, or better yet, get someone else to. If students and families are excited about your project, see if they’d like to help. A benefit concert for the greenhouse raised $500 in donations; a bike-a-thon for the school’s solar panels made close to $2000 in $10 entrance fees.

Learn: How much does a greenhouse cost?

3 Dec

The greenhouse in the fair afternoon light.

“So, this project is cool and everything…but how much did it cost you?”

People ask us this question all the time. “All the time” meaning “every time we take anyone through the greenhouse or even mention it”. Heck, one of the most frequently used search terms for this blog is “greenhouse cost estimate”.

“How much does it cost” is a legitimate question, and one that needs answering. But if you’re reading this in hopes of putting up your own, remember…the factors for each project will be totally unique.

So here’s our little breakdown.

  • Structure: retail $3250; after education discount $2900. From Poly-Tex, Inc.
  • Conditional Use Permit and Variance: $1550, excluding refunded escrow. From City of Northfield
  • Building Permit: $160, from City of Northfield
  • Farmer-in-Residence: $4000; oversaw student labor in building the greenhouse, plus will help with planting, etc.
  • Various Components (door latches, extension cords, etc): $50, approximately.

So the total cost for puttingĀ  up our greenhouse was $8660, but keep in mind that this was paid for with $6000 worth of grants. We ended up having to only raise $2400 for the rest of the greenhouse, which isn’t bad at all.

So, how much do you think your greenhouse will cost?

The Newest Cost Estimate

7 Oct

This morning, I finished up a new cost estimate, one that’s a lot more specific and probably more reliable in the long run. I know you’re all dying to know: how much will the greenhouse cost??

The answer is $11,074.38. Which is an estimate, I should point out to you. The cost estimate is liable to change at any time, so I’ll keep you posted.