The New Greenhouse Has Arrived!

The New Greenhouse Has Arrived!

Kevin Stewart (right) and Stan Joseph (left) help secure the SolaWrap greenhouse covering the new aquaponic greenhouse that will become a training center.

On May 30th, 2015, approximately 25 people participated in building a brand new 1,500 square foot greenhouse at the Ingenuity Innovation Center.  This 8 hour class drew people from all over the Portland Metro area and even some that lived 5 hours away.  The new greenhouse will house the brand new community-supported aquaponic training center that will be built when Murray Hallam returns in July as part of the “Living the Dream: Small Farm and Commercial Aquaponic Training Seminar.”  Here, participants of the class with Murray will have an opportunity to build an INDY23 aquaponic system while connecting with other passionate farmers and industry leaders who are helping bring aquaponics to the local food movement.  This system will serve as the foundation for Murray’s new curriculum that is setting the standards at the Australian Government level around workforce training and development for people working in aquaponic settings. No other professional or organization has sought to build such a comprehensive curriculum.  Ingenuity Innovation Center will be the second location in the world (the first being Murray Hallam’s center in Australia) to offer and deploy the new curriculum that is expected to be completed in late summer.

All participants in the greenhouse build were able to get involved in setting up the greenhouse structure and learning how to secure the greenhouse covering that was sponsored by SolaWrap (a $7,500 value).  In addition to getting some hands on experience, Michael Taylor, founder of Seed to Savings LLC, also led a class to answer frequently asked questions around sourcing and building greenhouses of any size.  His urban agriculture consulting business focuses on empowering people to take some basic steps to learn how to grow food and community. Michael has over 20 years of professional experience in environmental and whole-systems education carrying an MS in Environmental Education and has several years working in the greenhouse and horticulture industry as the education coordinator and sales person for the Greenhouse Catalog.  During his 40 minute class session, he challenged participants to a “greenhouse challenge” where they could draft their own designs and submit them to him for feedback.  In addition, he covered:

  • How to select the best site for a greenhouse.
  • What kind of greenhouse will serve as the best solution for your need and budget.
  • What type of preparation work is required prior to install.
  • What other materials you will need besides the greenhouse frame and covering.
  • How to install your greenhouse safely.
  • Other frequently asked questions (pest management, ventilation, zoning and permitting, etc.)

“It was incredible to see the number of people who came out to support us in building this [greenhouse],” stated Aaron Imhof.  “Honestly, it was one of our best community builds yet.  Everyone really dug in, helped one another and connected.  When you build with community, everyone benefits.”

In the class, Ingenuity Innovation Center explained that they are seeking to funds and resources to build the new training center.

The brand new 1,500 square foot greenhouse will be completed when Murray Hallam returns in July to conduct the “Living the Dream: Small Farm and Commercial Aquaponic Training Seminar.”

“We value people and organizations who step forward to contribute time, money or resources to help us create a vision where everyone can benefit,” stated Kate Wildrick.  “In the spirit of creating solutions for the community by the community, we have established a way to honor those who step forward to help us create the tools, resources, infrastructure, education, and innovative solutions to build a better world.  Inspired from our aquaponic system, we have created a community sponsorship and recognition tiers on our website so people from all over can see who is stepping up to help.”

All attendees who participated were recognized on the website.  If you would like to get involved in helping Ingenuity Innovation Center build this new community training facility, please contact us.