The New Greenhouse
The existing Enfield Solar Greenhouse was built in 2011, received funding from Community Council ($25,000), and students also independently raised $7,000. The large Greenhouse Mod alumni network also contributed significantly.
This greenhouse is equipped with a continuous porous floor that allows spilled water to easily drain through the flooring and out of the Greenhouse without accumulating. The Greenhouse also features a temperature-controlled venting system, which automatically allows the system of skylight vents to open when the Greenhouse gets too hot.
Planning, funding, and building this state-of-the-art greenhouse was a wonderful success for student initiated projects at Hampshire College. Thank you to all those who worked tirelessly for years to make this a reality!
The original Enfield Solar Greenhouse was built in 1979 by a group of students interested in aquaculture, art, and growing their own food. The original greenhouse had a wood frame and was set up for aquaponics (raising fish and plants in a recirculating symbiotic environment). There were two large tilapia tanks feeding growbeds of hydroponic basil. Being a very humid environment, the wood eventually rotted and the greenhouse had to be replaced in 1992, again by students. This greenhouse was far more permanent: it had goshen stone raised beds, a waterfall, a koi tank, hydroponic basil and was made out of glass and aluminum. This greenhouse was physically attached to Mod 46, and unfortunately, by 2008 the mod was suffering from severe mold and structural issues and the greenhouse had to be taken down for the renovation of Mod 46. This set the stage for the landmark process of building the newest greenhouse, featured above.
Enfield Greenhouse Goals
The Greenhouse is meant to be a public space for the Hampshire community to enjoy. The Greenhouse hopes to create and foster community, education about plants and agriculture, and serve as a place for relaxation, conversation and contemplation.
The space is a place to teach and learn about environmental sustainability and responsibility and further promote the relationship between plants and humans.
Files and Documents
- Tobin Porter-Brown's Div III paper on Greenhouse Design: File:GreenhouseDivIII.pdf
- The Enfield Greenhouse Community Library can be found in our living room. This library has been curated over three decades of Hampshire students living at the Greenhouse in Enfield. It contains a wide variety of books- from gardening and energy conservation to feminist theory and international development- reflecting the broad range of interests and studies of students who have passed through the Greenhouse Mod. Our online toolbox with resources and historical documents can be found here Please stop by to check out a book or say hi!
Every semester the Greenhouse gets funding for events: Halloween bobbing for apples, an Open House every semester, Bread and Puppet (in the Fall) and the mysterious Mustachio Bashio (in the Spring). We host these events with food, music, and singing.
The Greenhouse also hosts Craft Night, a Sunday-night study break tradition that brings students together to unleash their creativity. Our supplies for this include paint, paintbrushes, clothespins, and flowerpots.
We get pots, seeds, soil, and various Greenhouse-y things every semester to help our fellow community members grow beautiful things.
Bring your own pot (or yogurt container or old boot) and we'll get you a pet plant to take home!
The greenhouse is also available as a home to any of your friendly dorm/mod plants that can't accompany you over the summer. Though the space is open and you do leave them at your own risk, several Greenhouse Mod members and friends will be around over the summer to water any plants in the greenhouse. Leave us with instructions and we'll try to follow them!
The Greenhouse Mod functions as a food co-op. We strive to buy food that is a) local and supports local farmers and the local economy and b) responsibly grown/organic food. We currently have two shares from the Hampshire College farm and we buy dairy products, sweeteners (honey and maple syrup), meat, cider, wine and beer, and fruit from surrounding farms. On average, communal food purchasing allows us to eat affordably at around $20 per week. We strive to be an example of how eating locally and responsibly can be both extremely enjoyable and financially feasible.
Almost every semester Greenhouse Mod members graduate or go abroad, and there are often spaces open. We do have an application process which will be advertised at least a month before the end of any given semester for individuals interested in living in the mod the following semester. Our application consists of a series of questions about your leadership and community involvement, your experiences related to growing things, your expectations for communal living, and why you want to be a steward of the greenhouse. These elements are reviewed by a panel made of Housing Operations Office personnel, the Greenhouse member(s) leaving, and individuals from the Office of Student Life. Decisions are made well in advance of the housing lottery or other important planning dates.
Please feel free to stop in any time, join us for dinner, and come to our greenhouse events!