Northfield School of Arts and Technology Adds Carbon Neutral Greenhouse

Northfield School of Arts and Technology (ARTech)

Northfield School of Arts and Technology (or ARTech, for short) is a small charter school in southeastern Minnesota. Many people would call ARTech a “green” school, with good reason!

During the summer of 2008, a student-driven project installed a 2kw solar array on the south of the school, in part with a SE CERT seed grant. This October 2010, a greenhouse joined the panels, with funding support from Minnesota Schools Cutting Carbon.

The greenhouse is the culmination of almost three school years of effort by a group of middle- turned high-school students. The greenhouse will be carbon neutral and unheated, adding 960 square feet of classroom to the space with no added emissions.

The students have started a CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) and with ten members in Northfield. And the first planting happened at the beginning of December! From the students: “Yes, it’s December. Yes, it’s only 24 days until Christmas. But the growing season inside the brand spankin’ new greenhouse is just getting started.” In April and May the members will be getting boxes of asian greens, leeks, lettuce, arugula, mache, spinach, extra sweet carrots, and radishes. So cool!

If you’re wondering how vegetables can grow during the winter, would like to see more photos, or want to keep up to date on the greenhouse progress, visit the ARTech Greenhouse Project Blog.

You can also read an article about the greenhouse in the Northfield Patch.

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