Green Central is our main site located at Carson High School. It encompasses a greenhouse, two hoop houses, a classroom, and raised beds.
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Since 2011, The Greenhouse Project has worked to ensure success in its mission of "Growing, Giving & Teaching for a Healthier, Greener, Sustainable Community," which in part means growing produce for our community's under served.
This program began with the construction of a 2,160 square foot, commercial-sized greenhouse, outdoor community gardens and trails funded in part by private donations and a community grant. Contractors provided invaluable knowledge and in kind donations.
This facility, dubbed Green Central, is the teaching farm and is located on Carson High School’s campus and provides educational and vocational opportunities to nearly 200 CHS Agricultural and Science students annually. It also involves students from the area's elementary and middle schools and youth groups, including Boys & Girls Club of Western Nevada.
TGP also supports Capitol FFA students. Indeed, TGP's inception rebirthed an ag program that had been defunct for nearly a decade. The entire site is ADA accessible inside and outside of the greenhouse, and all planting tables are designed to provide for persons with disabilities to access and work in the gardens. Special needs programs in Carson City are a vital part of the planting plans each year and therefore were carefully considered in the design.
Produce grown at Green Central is distributed to Carson City's various outreach organizations that provide food to Carson and the surrounding communities.
It is here that the flower baskets that adorn Downtown Carson City each summer are grown and created. The flower basket program allows TGP, through basket purchased by local businesses, to give back to the community for its ongoing generosity. The baskets also add a welcoming touch throughout the summer to locals and visitors alike.
2020 saw the completion of an outdoor classroom, a much needed addition to Green Central.
The greenhouse is self-sustainable through the provision of energy by solar panels and a ground source heat pump; the proper management of the soils and the growing environment. Operations rely on renewable energy sources for power and use ecologically sustainable growing methods to cultivate vegetables, flowers and bedding plants.
TGP is now expanding operations at Green Central to include a Native Plants Nursery and Composting sIte. These additions both expand educational opportunities for our students and also grow funding streams that will in part, contribute to TGP’s financial sustainability.
More than 90 percent of produce grown at Green Central and its sister site, Foothill Garden on the Carson Tahoe Medical Campus, goes to local food banks, including Friends in Service Helping (FISH), Salvation Army, Ron Wood Family Resource Center, Meals on Wheels and Circles Initiatives on a rotating monthly basis. The remaining 10 percent is designated for use by students in the high school’s Culinary Program.
TGP has met or exceeded its goal of producing 400 pounds of produce each month and has far exceeded its original goal of having at least 200 students participating in the vocational/educational program.
In short, TGP has succeeded mightily in “growing the next generation of farmers,” as
TGP President and Founder Karen Abowd says, and will continue each year to expand educational opportunities.