Is it possible to have fresh healthy produce all year long on the Oregon Coast ?
People are more concerned than ever about the welfare of themselves and their families and are rapidly fueling the movement to reclaim the health and safety of the food on their tables. Would it be great if you could grow health foods in your back yard all year long?
The Dome Greenhouse is designed to just that, produce health food all year long.
The numbers of produce-related health contaminations have increased substantially in the last few years. This has inspired many to embrace the gardening techniques perfected by our ancestors, while inventing a few new ideas, to resurrect the backyard edible garden. Family farms dominated the landscape in the 1930s, when there were over 7 million farms; now there are roughly two million.
Growing your own food is again becoming a popular method that many people are employing to ensure the safety of their food supply. The Oregon weather can make or break the garden, and gardener. If you want to grow food in such an unpredictable and extreme climate, you will need to find a way to extend the growing season.
The Solar Dome, a geodesic greenhouse is the best solar greenhouse on the market today, and certainly for our Coastal climate! It is the only greenhouse designed for year-round energy-efficient growing.
The Solar Dome is a high-tech, solar-powered greenhouse originating from the genius of Buckminster Fuller, an engineer in the 1950s. He further enhanced the already superior design of the dome by designing it with triangles--the most rigid shape known-- instead of the traditional arches. Domes are some of the strongest and stiffest structures in existence today. The dome structure is unique because it does not have corners, giving it the ability to enclose an enormous amount of space without using support columns. This allows for maximum room for growing plants. Domes have been called “The King of all Roofs” and cover some of our most important buildings we have, like state and the national capitals, the Superdome and other sport complexes, etc.
The Buckminster Fuller geodesic design has inspired many famous dome structures including Epcot Center in Florida, as well as the Windstar Foundations Bio-dome in Snowmass, Colorado, founded by John Denver and Thomas Crum, in the 1980’s. The 50’ diameter – 1/25 acre-Bio- dome grows approximately 4,000 pounds of different fruits and vegetables year-round. Unfortunately it cost $80,000 to build and was not affordable to the average person.
The Solar Dome is designed to be low cost, while still maintaining all of the integrity and qualities of the larger Biodome model. Solar Dome has made the dome available and affordable to everyone!
Because the dome is made of triangles, it can withstand heavy snow loads and winds of up to 130mph! The strong structure also eliminates the need to pour a concrete foundation, required by so many greenhouse designs on the market, thus reducing the overall cost and ease of installation.
The Solar Dome has been designed to be off the grid and independent of fossil fuels. It is the most energy-efficient structure because it can enclose the most volume for the minimum surface area. The Solar Dome is always facing the sun giving an even heat input from sun-up to sundown. A rectangular greenhouse with a large amount of south facing glazing can experience over-heating problems during the middle of the day when the sun hits the glazing surface at 90 degrees. Underground utilities, that can be a hassle to install and maintain, are not necessary to operate the greenhouse. Eliminating this dependency reduces costs and headaches!
Our food is full of pesticides and can be genetically modified without us even knowing, It seems that more people are interested in growing their own food for health reasons. People want organic food, and they have decided that the way to get it is to grow it themselves. The research that was done with the Bio-dome found that they could grow 3 lbs. of food per square foot, per year. A 15’ Solar Dome greenhouse can produce 400-500 lbs. per year. That is enough food to feed 2-3 adults, if the average adult eats 200 lbs. per year. The dome has the potential to return your investment--in full-- 4-5 years.
The Solar Dome can withstand sub-zero temperatures with no supplemental heating. If the temperature in the dome dips a few degrees below freezing, once the sun comes out the vegetables and other plants will soon begin growing again.
One of the key features to the Solar Dome is the solar-operated subterranean heating system that works to warm the soil under the Solar Dome during the day and retreve the hear at night. The warm soil significantly helps the plants to thrive during the colder months.
A second feature is the berm north insulated wall. It is berm with both soil and insulation. This helps keep the Dome cozy during the long winter nights and reflects light evenly onto the plants for maximum growth. Provides shade in the summer and helps prevent overheating.
A third feature of the Solar Dome is a rain water storage system that supplies the thermal mass (heat) in the greenhouse. Water is the most effective solar collector because of its ability to keep heat stable. The water also helps to cool and stabilize the temperatures in the greenhouse in the summer. The greenhouse stays warmer in the winter months and cooler in the summer -another feature that sets it apart from any other greenhouse design.
The dome is not just for growing plants. It has been used as a community greenhouse/center. Schools have implemented fundraising programs to build a dome to help educate children on the living earth, nurturing, and science. There are already two schools in Colorado that have built a Solar Dome, to implement this valuable learning tool.
The domes will serve gardeners as "ecology labs.” They harvest herbs, vegetables and medicinal plants in their specimen gardens, and experiment with solar power, fish reproduction and plant hybrids in these living classrooms.
Since health and nutrition are of major concern for today’s young people, many after school garden programs use the garden as a tool to engage students’ interest in fresh vegetables, to encourage healthy eating habits, and to teach students where food comes from. These programs themselves are nurturing the generation that will become this country’s future food growers and consumers. Their knowledge and values will have a widespread impact.
The possibilities are unlimited!