Geodesic Greenhouse Kits
Growing Dome® Greenhouses, tried and tested in the Rocky Mountains, allow you to grow fresh vegetables, flowers, fruit and herbs year round, with minimal extra heating or cooling.
Its unique solar design and seven unique features make it the most energy-efficient, hobby greenhouse kit available today.
If you want to enjoy year-round indoor gardening, in a beautiful protected space throughout the changing seasons, the Growing Dome Greenhouse from Growing Spaces can fulfill your desires.
Much more than a greenhouse; it's a way of life!
What is the Growing Dome and what makes it so Unique?
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. 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. In the Rocky Mountains 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 Growing Dome, a geodesic greenhouse developed by Udgar Parsons of Growing Spaces, a Colorado-based Growing Spaces, is the best hobby solar greenhouse kit on the market today, and certainly for our mountain climate! It is the only greenhouse designed for year-round energy-efficient growing.
The Growing 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.
A dentist and orthodontist, Udgar Parsons decided to follow his interest for sustainable living and caring for fellow humans by changing careers and farming on the northwest coast of Scotland to learn more about living off the grid. He participated in many community experiments across the world before settling in the Aspen/Snowmass area to become the shop manager for the Bio-dome. “I was totally inspired by the structure,” Parsons explains, “but unfortunately it cost $80,000 to build and was not affordable to the average person.” So in 1989, he started Growing Spaces, LLC to develop a new greenhouse so the average homeowner could take advantage of this superb technology and grow his/her own food. He developed the Growing Dome for an amazingly-low cost, while still maintaining all the integrity and qualities of the larger Biodome model. Udgar Parsons had 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 hobby greenhouse designs on the market, thus reducing the overall cost and ease of installation.
The 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 dome is always facing the sun giving an even heat input from sun-up to sun-down. 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!
Udgar explains that so much of 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’ Growing 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--every 4-5 years, assuming the dome will last 20 years.
In Colorado, it is common for temperatures to fall below freezing. The Growing 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 dome is the solar-operated subterranean heating system that works to warm the soil where the plants grow. The warm soil significantly helps the plants to thrive in colder months.
The heart and soul of the Growing Dome is a 1200-gallon oval shaped water tank 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 other greenhouse designs.
Other unique features include the tough, long-lived but lightweight polycarbonate glazing that softly diffuses the light for optimum growing conditions, and the special reflective double-packed R-10 insulation that covers the northern 2/5 of the dome. Automatic compressed wax activators open and close lower vents for ventilation, as well as the two windows at the top of the dome.
At the motor manufacturing plant in Georgetown, Kentucky, Toyota has instituted a composting program. The organic waste matter produced throughout the plant is cycled through a highly-efficient composting process. Toyota is using the compost to grow produce for the cafeteria with the help of a 50-foot diameter Growing Dome greenhouse from Growing Spaces. After substantial research, Toyota chose the Growing Dome because of its natural energy-efficient shape and its demonstration of low-impact technology and passive solar design.
The dome is not just for growing plants. It has been used as the ultimate indoor eco-system to enclose hot tubs, meditation centers, massage and physical therapy studios, and 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 the Evergreen/Conifer area that have built a Growing Dome, to implement this valuable learning tool. In Pagosa Springs, Colorado, a community that shares the same healthy living standards adapted by many Evergreen/Conifer residents, there are already over 60 Growing Domes nestled within the rolling landscape.
Udgar explains “The domes serve backyard gardeners as "ecology labs," Students harvest herbs, vegetables and medicinal plants in their specimen gardens, and experiment with solar power, fish reproduction and plant hybrids in these living classrooms.” The possibilities are unlimited!
The Growing Dome comes as a kit, with or without the Douglas Fir lumber, and all the other necessary components are pre-cut, pre-drilled, color coded and are ready for assembly. You can tackle the installation job yourself, or have the knowledgeable and friendly crews at Growing Spaces help out with the process. Growing Spaces has attempted to reduce the cost to you by allowing some of the components that are bulky and expensive to ship to be purchased locally.
For more information, contact
Growing Spaces directly...
Growing Spaces, LLC
P.O. Box 5518
1868 B Majestic Drive
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147
(970) 731-0198 (Fax)
(970) 731-2120 (Office)