“For Puja and I, everything is connected, and we are ever awed by the complexity and beauty of the natural world. Offering a product which helps people enjoy and support this beauty and the bountiful ways of nature – while growing an abundance of food – is very fulfilling for us.”
– Udgar Parsons, Co-Owner and Founder
This time of year as the temperatures drop and weather shifts, the features of the Growing Dome come in as major players. We get question after question about how the Growing Dome is heated using solar power and if supplemental heat would need to be added. We talk wind speeds, snow loads, planting zones, and sunlight. There is a heavier focus on working to overcome nature because nature is calling a halt to all outdoor growing. This puts us in a very interesting position because we are here to help people grow year-round AND help them live in connection with nature. The vision and values of Growing Spaces put these two sometimes opposing motives in the same basket.
We have found the ability to garden year-round to be the number one reason why people purchase a Growing Dome. Gardening is now available to thousands of people that used to have to put their garden beds to rest for half of the year. We are absolutely delighted that gardeners around the world are able to live healthier, sustainable lifestyles on an ongoing basis. We also don’t want the joy to become an obsession of going to the extreme of growing oranges in arctic winters. We don’t typically come across situations this intense, but variations of it do occur. We ask ourselves when talking with some customers, how far is too far?
Luckily, Udgar designed the Growing Domes in such a way that the structure itself tells us when we’re growing out of connection with nature. The Growing Dome is not a closed system. It opens up to the natural world and allows bees, dragonflies, and ladybugs entry. Ventilation systems are in place to circulate fresh air through the greenhouse automatically. The entire structure is centralized around the sun’s ability to provide energy, light and heat. The floor of the greenhouse is made of soil so plants can grow deep roots and excess water can move back into the ground. In all of these ways and more, the Growing Dome interacts with the land on which it sits.
The Growing Dome is a beautiful structure in that it can interact with the land and still provide food year-round. As a result of this marriage, gardeners are encouraged to plant in season. This forces us to become creative with new types of food we may never have eaten before and to trust in the inherent intelligence of nature’s design. Nature gives us leafy greens and dense roots when it’s cold, and sugary fruits and juicy vegetables when it’s hot.
When working in connection with nature, flexibility is key. Some seasons we need to add more water or allow for more ventilation. Other seasons we get everything dialed in perfectly and the Growing Dome works like a well-oiled machine. So, in considering what you would like to plant or how you might add to or modify the Growing Dome system, step back and think about what this will REALLY look like. If you’re trying to grow tomatoes and it’s -20 degrees F outside you’re going to have to work hard at it because you’ve moved a great deal away from the natural cycle. If you’re growing peppers in the summer and asking for just a little less heat in the greenhouse that will be no problem.
Here at Growing Spaces® we are working to provide you with a life-changing experience that will provide you with wellness of spirit, body and mind. Part of this experience is the dance that stretches the limits of the natural world while bringing us into deeper connection with it. The good news is that we are here, as the best Growing Dome specialists we can be, to help you on your path.
Author: Stacey L.L. Couch