Week 2: Greenhouse 101

Week 2 was an intensive stockpiling of any and all information we could gather about Twisp, greenhouses, and local materials and manufacturers, just to name a few. Anything to help us be better prepared for our upcoming visit to Twisp at the end of the week.

Greenhouse manager Doug Ewing was the perfect jumpstart to getting inspired. Doug was a wealth of information; explaining basic properties of a greenhouse, its heating, cooling, water, and most importantly light. Even the plants themselves were sources for ideas about harvesting energy. Like the leaves of an African violet relative that are a silvery white, reflecting heat during dry seasons, but become transparent when wet, collecting more light when evaporation is less of a problem. Or the giant Victoria lily pad, whose ribbed leaf can support the weight of a small child and inspired the structural system for the Crystal Palace.

Our first hand experience in the greenhouses was followed up by group presentations of more innovative structures and systems to grow plants year-round. Bubble walls, flat glass panel structures, and a giant ETFE greenhouse. Prepped with ideas and fortified by donuts we piled into the vans on Friday afternoon and headed over the pass to Twisp.

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