Pomfret School Passive Solar Aquaponics Greenhouse Comes to Life: Summer 2018 Update

Project Timeline and Updates provided by Pomfret School teacher Bill Martin. In the summer of 2017 construction of an 850 sq. ft. Ceres greenhouse was completed, a milestone in an endeavor to design and build a year-round aquaponic solar greenhouse to house the Helios Project at Pomfret School in Pomfret, Connecticut.   The Helios Project’s…

Water Barrels vs. Phase Change Material

  Innovation plays an important role in every industry. Bulky, inefficient methods are catalysts for new-age technology. Since traditional greenhouses lack insulation, thermal masses can provide extra heat. Thermal mass materials absorb heat during the day and release the heat back into the greenhouse at night. Water barrels are widely used to maintain temperatures in…

Ceres Builds a Solar Greenhouse with “Pink” Technology

In the spring of 2017, the Ceres residential design team collaborated with a passionate environmental science professor at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania to integrate Soliculture photovoltaic roof panels into our 12x16 DIY greenhouse design.   The goal was to create an energy efficient campus greenhouse that produced its own electricity and enhanced the incoming light spectrum…

Is My Plant Getting Enough Light?

The following is an excerpt from The Year-Round Solar Greenhouse, with additional content provided by expert greenhouse grower Paul Alaback. Year-round greenhouse growers, and all gardeners, often wonder whether plants are getting sufficient light. As we’ll explain further below, whether your garden gets enough light is somewhat subjective -- it depends on your expectations. Fortunately,…

How to Choose a Glazing Material for a Year Round Greenhouse

Below is an excerpt from The Year Round Solar Greenhouse. For more on choosing a glazing material for a greenhouse, plus costs and tips for installing glazing materials, please see the book. We live in a plastic-laden age, so when it comes to choosing a material for a year-round greenhouse, the choices can get overwhelming.…

An Aquaponic School Greenhouse Comes to Life

Building a year-round school greenhouse is a significant endeavor. Using passive solar greenhouse design, the north wall is insulated, and glazing slopes strategically to maximize solar gain and reduce the dependence on fossil fuels. The structure is engineered for any snow or wind load, making a durable greenhouse much like building a commercial building project.…

6 Tips for Creating a Year Round School Greenhouse

A year-round school greenhouse creates a hands-on classroom where numerous math and science Students learn to grow food in the Vail Mountain School Greenhouse projects can unfold. It teaches students how to grow food, while simultaneously providing a healthy source of nutritious vegetables for school meals. It can also become an integral part of the…

School Greenhouses: The Future of Learning Gardens

“What’s that white stuff? “Roots!” And so proceeded the conversation between two second graders at Vail Mountain School about that hidden elemental part of the plant. Despite the chilly November afternoon that existed outside, this exchange occurred in a warm sunny greenhouse attached to the school. Instead of seeing a pictures in a textbook, these second…