We spend a lot of time talking about our product and what it can do, next we highlight our vision of a sustainable world, and lastly we sometimes happen to mention who we are. The increasing attention paid to goods made in America has caused us to think back to who we are as a company.
We are Udgar Parsons, the inventor of the Growing Dome®, who over 20 years ago was so inspired by the vision of Buckminster Fuller that he became nearly overcome with creating this product so more people could live in connection with the Earth. We are Puja Dhyan Parsons, the co-owner of Growing Spaces, who has come to the forefront the last couple of years to bring her feminine energy to not only the greenhouse itself but also the culture of the company. This dynamic duo is the heart and guiding compass of this amazing business.
Not only is Growing Spaces family owned, it is family centered. We have over 25 employees and installation contractors working for the company during the busy times of year, and somehow the sense of family and community remains. We celebrate everyone’s birthday together and the birthday honoree gets to pick the feast they’d like. The vegans get melon and berries. The chocolate lovers get dense chocolate cake. We communicate with honesty and integrity even in the tough times when opinions differ and conditions are strenuous. Laughter is our medicine of choice and we trust the path of each individual. There is a unique synergy that exists built on caring and, yes, love.
Our company operates in the small town of Pagosa Springs high in the Rocky Mountains of southwest Colorado. This is not the ideal place to run a manufacturing business. The nearest interstate is 4 or 5 hours away. The nearest international airport is even farther away. Materials and parts are sometimes delayed because the mountain pass 30 miles away is covered in 5 feet of snow. Pagosa Springs continues to keep “box” stores at bay and strip malls are not a part of the town planning. When we get 10 inches of snow in one day the locals fire up their 30 year old plow trucks and spend the morning clearing roads and parking lots before business as usual can begin. Clearly we are not here out of practicality. We are here because this is an amazing place to live and work. We believe the product carries the essence of this “both/and” relationship. The belief that you can do what you love where you love and be successful is central to our choice to stay in Pagosa Springs and participate in this small community. In that way we are also able to help the local economy. Growing Spaces was recently sited as one of the reasons why jobs are up in our county (see Report: Snapshot of Local Economy in the Pagosa Sun newspaper).
We are Made in America. The dream of starting with nothing and building the life you’ve always wanted is here. The hardworking, visionary mindset is here. Along with these longstanding American values come the new dreams of living sustainably and consciously. We remain balanced in old values while fostering the new. Growing Spaces strives to remain at the forefront of the green movement and to help create the change we wish to see in the world both at home and across the country.
Winter, the holidays and the end of the year all call for a time for introspection, for looking back at the year and taking stock of all you have to be grateful for. We’ve had an especially busy year here at Growing Spaces and as we’ve rode the crest of the wave we’ve worked hard to keep our values of sustainability, health and eduction as the grounding point for all we do. With so many projects in the air at once we have remained hyper-focused on the product and what it can accomplish for the world. In this way we’ve managed to stay on course and to accomplish some awesome feats.
This year alone we have built Growing Domes at 14 schools and shipped them out to 74 homeowners, not to mention Growing Domes that also went to communities and businesses, but more than just numbers we’ve participated in building so much more. Local communities are rallying around the common cause of healthy food grown in a sustainable way and homeowners are raising awareness about what is possible in your own backyard. Running parallel to this close-to-home movement, people are joining together online and sharing beautiful and compelling stories, photos and videos. We feel incredibly blessed to be a part of something so amazing and invite you to continue the journey with us.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Growing Spaces.
Author: Stacey L. L. Couch