Tag Archives: update

Little plants in February?

17 Feb

Despite the lack of blog posts, we have been doing stuff on our little greenhouse project. Not much, admittedly, but stuff nonetheless. For instance, during the long, slow season of winter, we discussed a long-term plan for the project and helped some middle schoolers get projects started inside for the spring.

And then there was yesterday. 39 degrees outside; 104 degrees inside. Yep, that’s right. A 65 degree temperature difference. We all rushed out to the greenhouse to bask in the heat, and then promptly opened all the doors up and ushered a cold breeze inside. Oh yeah, we also planted up 72 row feet in greens for our spring CSA program. It’s exciting to think that spring is finally here, in the greenhouse at least.


Bumps in the Road..

4 Oct

Hey there.

OK so today we found out from the city that an educational building has to be able to withstand 90MPH winds. Apparently, the greenhouse we ordered (four ft. spacing) was rated for less than that. It will cost around $400 to change the order from Four ft. spacing to Three ft. spacing, which is the wind resistant one. Hopefully, We’ll be selling shares to a small greens CSA for this spring to raise the money.

In other news, we got our soil test back from the lab. Danny is working on deciphering the results. Also, we’ve been working on an official Mission and Vision Statement for the greenhouse. Thats about it..


arlo, and the rest of the team


9 Sep

After countless discussions and almost two years of work, the completion of the greenhouse is at our doorstep. We kicked off the school year with an awesome meeting where we gained two new student members, Andrew Wilson, and Mariama Jallow, officially hired Andrew Ehrmann as our farmer in residence, and finalized the positioning of the greenhouse on the south side of ARTech. These steps mark the beginning of the end because once we order the structure and apply for the building permit it’s a waiting game till we can start hammering stakes into the ground. Its been a long, long process, but it will all be worth it to the group and to the school once a beautiful 48 foot greenhouse neighbors the solar panels on our southern lawn.

Artech students at one of St. Olaf's greenhouses

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!