Unlocking Paradise: Tropical Greenhouse in a Cold Climate

Tropical Biodome
Photo By Randy Harris

How a Small School in New York Built an Off-Grid Tropical Greenhouse Garden

When most people think of a tropical getaway, they imagine it on a beach in the Bahamas or a bungalow in the Caribbean. You would never imagine such a lush tropical place to exist in New York unless you are the students of Homestead School, home to a 42′ tropical greenhouse.

tropical greenhouse in cold climate
Photo By Randy Harris

Homestead School is “a private Montessori school focused on humanitarian and sustainable education” located in Glen Spey, NY. The school was founded in 1978 on a 200-year-old, 85-acre homestead by Peter & Marsha Comstock. Although the school was always dedicated to farming, they developed a formal permaculture program in 2017, beginning with planting fruit and nut trees, keeping honey bees, and developing a biodome plan.

In 2018 that plan came to life and Jack Comstock, assistant head of school/co-lead teacher, put their plans for a 42′ tropical greenhouse into motion. Jack said, “A biodome greenhouse solved the problem of students missing out on most of the growing cycle.”  With a Growing Dome greenhouse, students can grow year-round, even in New York.  On the topic of why they decided on a tropical climate, he said, “he has always been drawn to the tropics.” What better way to bring the tropics to New York than creating a controlled environment to grow tropical plants?

Tropical Greenhouse Design & Construction

When we asked Jack how the project went, he said, “it happened so fast with the help of students, staff, and parents it came together quite smoothly,” almost as it if it was meant to be. Even past students came out to help put things together. The hardest part seemed to be the excavating their in ground koi pond that acts as a swimming pool. This involved digging and collecting boulders from around the property. Please note this is not the standard pond that comes with all of our Growing Dome Kits. It is above and beyond any pond we have ever seen!

Growing Tropical Plants

A big thank you to Jack, his wife Nisha, and the whole Homestead School for allowing us to share their epic greenhouse story. It truly is an inspiration. If you have questions about building a tropical greenhouse please refer them to info@growingspaces.

author avatar
Kenzie Jackson Marketing Director
I studied marketing at Eastern Illinois University and have been working as the Marketing Director at Growing Spaces since May 2019. What I love most about my job is getting to tell the stories of our customers in our featured dome articles. It’s all about connecting through storytelling, and it’s pretty cool to see all the different ways people use our greenhouses.

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