December 22, 2014 Update: Check out the Edible Reno Tahoe story highlighting the Sierra House Growing Domes!
December 6, 2014 Update: With your generous support, we "Let it Grow" and finally have two 18' foot Growing Domes in place at Sierra House. The school was a busy place through the month November. Several weeks were spent prepping the site by local construction firms and with the help of a host of volunteers. Pamela and Rodney from Growing Spaces spent the week before Thanksgiving installing the actual Growing Domes. The week of Thanksgiving Break, the Wilson family and other volunteers installed the raised beds in the eastern Growing Dome.
Next steps are to have the eastern Growing Dome (add name once kids finish competition) up and running by the new year. After some observation (and potential fundraising!) we will start work in the more western Growing Dome. Both will grow vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers and feature the same energy-efficient design including the fish pond.
The first Dome is being laid out to allow maximum numbers of students to participate in the classes. Ms Wilson, a teacher at Sierra House, wanted to ensure that the raised beds were 'indestructible'. The space is being designed to accomodate large numbers of students, stand up to the wear and tear of 100s of students while maximising the growing space using outer and central raised beds, hanging baskets, and pergolas and tepees to allow plants to grow upwards.
A heartfelt thank you to the long list of donors and volunteers who made sure that the Sierra House Growing Domes were installed last week! We had donations and in-kind help from the Aguillon-Wolfe Family, American Century, the Bryson-Landy Family, the Cade-Bauer Family, the Cook-Fisher Family, Cory Ritchie of the Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation, Divided Sky, the Dobbs Family, El Dorado Community Foundation, the Estrada Family, Jim Ferguson, the Galles Family, Healthy Champions for Kids (General Mills Fdn.), Thomas Haen Co., the Hendricks Family, Home Depot, Crayton and Sandy Jones (in memory of), David Jones, Kampe Foundation, Kemper Hendrink, the Lowe Family, Lowes Charitable and Educational Foundation, the McLean Family, the Moss Family, Rampant McDuffs Incorp, Ron Fuller Construction, Rose Foundation, Soroptimists International of South Lake Tahoe, the Suarez-Brand Family, the Tennaci Family, Turn 3, Inc, Tyson Terpening, Wallace Construction, the Wilson Family, the Wildones Family, and Yonker Construction.
Growing Domes fit squarely into Sierra House Elementary's focus on health, nutrition and mountain sports.
Growing Domes are highly productive 4-season geodesic greenhouses designed especially for alpine climates. They are self-sufficient, relying entirely on passive solar heating and requiring very little maintenance to the structure. (Think $50 a year!) Managed effectively, will are able to provide fresh organic produce to incorporate into school lunches and an ecology lab to study soil, verimculture, aquaponics, math, science, and lanugage arts. Sierra House is also proud to be part of regional food security organizations like the Tahoe Food Hub and the Dome Raising Project.
By building Growing Dome(s) at our Sierra House, we will:
1) Provide Nutritious food for our school. Consumption of “clean food” has been shown repeatedly to promote increased attention spans and improved grades; 2) Educate students and the community about growing food using energy-efficient design in an alpine setting; and 3) Increase Awareness of healthy food, good nutrition and ecological stewardship.
Donations over $1000 will be listed on a plaque at the Dome Site. Please send your name as you would like it presented and contact details with your donation check if you wish to donate $1000 (or more!)
Thank you to these visionary donors! Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe ($25,000), Sierra House Parent ($13,000), Champions for Healthy Kids Grant ($14,000), Turn 3 on The Green Fundraiser ($12,000), Sierra House Parent ($11,000), MacDuffs Pub and Restaurant ($7,000), Sierra House Teacher ($5,000), Local Foundation Commitment ($5,000), Rose Foundation Grassroots Grant ($5,000), Lowe's Toolbox for Education Grant ($5,000), Sierra House Grandparent ($5,000), The Kampe Foundation ($2,000), Tahoe Celebrity Golf Tournament Grant ($1,000), Sierra House Parents ($1,100), South Tahoe Highschool Teacher ($1000), Sierra House Parents ($1000), Tahoe Chamber's 2014 Sample the Sierras Pop Up Dinner ($625), and Sierra House Family Donation ($500).