Tag Archives: Fundraising

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.

Green for green?

3 Jun

Looking for something fun to do on a Friday evening this summer? Love to listen to live music? Then we have a concert for you! On Friday, June 18, there will be a concert by Bret Hesla and Linda Breitag at the Haslett-Marroquin family farm, Finca Mirasol, to benefit ARTech’s own greenhouse project! The show starts at 7:00 pm, and there is no admission fee; free will donations are encouraged.

The ARTech greenhouse project was started in February of 2009 in order to plan for and eventually construct an organic, solar-powered greenhouse at the school. Since then, we’ve come a long way. The only thing holding us back from building the greenhouse is a $1700 gap between what we have and what we need. Other sources of funding are secured, including grants from the Northfield Union of Youth in partnership with the Healthy Community Initiative, and from the Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams. We plan on having the greenhouse built and ready for use by students by the time school starts, but we need your help! Join us on the 18th for a great concert and a chance to help make ARTech a better place to go to school.

So what exactly IS going on here?

12 May

Over the past couple of days, we’ve been talking about what exactly we need to do yet before we can stick a greenhouse down on the property. Here’s what we’ve come up with so far.

  1. Raise another $1700 for the greenhouse itself (which is, in technicality, a hoophouse since it uses no heat source other than the sun).
  2. Get approved for the conditional use permit by the City of Northfield (unfortunately, this is completely out of our hands).
  3. Purchase the hoophouse and arrange for installation
  4. Prepare the soil where the greenhouse will go, since we’ll be planting some things in the ground. This process will include working compost from the school’s own bins into the dirt.
  5. Do some trial planting over the summer so we can see how different growing under plastic is (more water? less water? more weeds? less bugs? You get the idea!).
  6. Have a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate our efforts.

This was a clarifying talk to have for us, so I hope it’ll help you out too!

Early May Update

7 May

Things at ARTech are getting more and more hectic as the quarter draws to a close.  On May 20th, classes will close and we will switch to a May term. While not much new may be posted, rest assured that work will still be continuing!

Last Thursday, Todd and I took the conditional use permit down to City Hall with a check for $1550 and seven copies of the site plan, among other things. So now that very large step is finished. We should have approval by early June.

Fundraising is coming along smashingly! According to our calculations, we have between $1400 and $2400 left to raise, depending on which greenhouse will be purchased.  (Which of course also depends on how much money we raise).

Also, I’m working on getting a photo or six of the model greenhouse we made for Earth Day for either the blog header or a pretty-looking post. Keep checking back!

Earth Day at Central Park

21 Apr

This Saturday, the greenhouse project will be having a booth at the Transition Northfield’s Earth Day Event. It promises to be a fantastic time: it’s been so nice here lately (and should continue), and the other exhibitors look very interesting too. Be sure to come visit us and our new model hoophouse (complete with small cauliflowers, cabbages, and summer squash) at Central Park this Saturday, from 1 to 4!