Dr. Dawn Carter
Mike from the Construct (for lending us a solar panel with which to do additional electronics testing)
The team poses in front of a completed greenhouse.
RIT hosts a community garden which is located behind their new ice hockey arena, the Gene Polisseni Center. Because of erratic weather patterns in upstate New York, crops can be tricky to grow at times. ESW-RIT decided that in an effort to raise awareness and encourage more self-sufficient, sustainable practices such as maintaining your own garden, a greenhouse would be useful.
The 8’x12’ greenhouse is supported mainly by cattle panels - medium-thick wired fencing that can be bent into an oblong structure.
The rest of the frame is weather-treated wood, and stakes for extra security against high winds. The plastic cover is UV-stabilized polyethylene, which should last four years (compared to standard polyethylene, which lasts up to one year). The structure houses two planting beds, a table for temperature data collection and seedling storage, and soon, straw bales that will be turned into compost. They will produce heat as they decompose, and we will be able to grow in them afterwards!
ESW-RIT has been working with the faculty member in charge of the community garden, Dr. Dawn Carter, who will be using the greenhouse as an educational piece in one of her classes. Several other professors from different departments have been interested in learning about the greenhouse as well.
Vegetables growing in early March, 2017
Early progress as of May 2016
Harvest, May 2017