Historical Greenhouses Revived to Feed Community

June 28, 2010

GreenhouseAfter two years of restoration work, two 1930’s greenhouses have been revived and are producing food for the surrounding community. The greenhouses are part of a sustainable development in Salem, Oregon, Pringle Creek Community, and were used for farming and flower production at the former Fairview Training Center. They were built by Lord & Burnham Co., according to an article in the Statesman Journal.

They are now producing vegetable starts for Marion and Polk County Food Share community gardens, as well as a gathering place for local gardeners and volunteers. “We want to create community spaces where people can interact,” says James Santana, a member of the development team at Pringle Creek. “Most neighborhoods don’t have those experiences because the spaces don’t exist. A community garden is one example where people with common interests can gather together.”

In addition to helping start vegetables for the Food Share’s community gardens, the greenhouses are also helping local developmentally disabled adult volunteers to grow flower baskets. In a partnership with Shangri-La’s LEAP (Life Enrichment and Activities Program) group, three days a week the volunteers tend their baskets of fuchsias and petunias, while basking in the benefits of gardening.

Soon the site hopes to be producing lemons, limes, and oranges, and rows of corn. It is already teeming with herbs, flowers, and strawberries, and will soon include tomatoes, squash, and other vegetables. The newly opened Painters Hall Cafe, located on the Fairview site, hopes to include these fruits and vegetables in their dishes. The Cafe is located in a LEED certified building featuring building materials garnished from the existing buildings on the site.

The Pringle Creek greenhouses, and the development as a whole, are doing a lot to support and give back to the local community. They are reaping the benefits of all three of the factors in the triple bottom line: environment, people, and profits.

For more information on the Pringle Creek Community, in Salem, Oregon, visit their web site: Pringle Creek.

Photo courtesy of wot nxt through a Creative Commons license. Article idea courtesy of Statesman Journal, Salem, Oregon.



Dawn Killough

has over 15 years experience in the construction industry and is the author of Green Building Design 101, an e-book available from Amazon. She is a LEED AP and Certified Green Building Advisor, and has worked on the LEED Certification of three projects in Salem, Oregon.