Affordable Greenhouses for Everyone!

HopelinkFoodBank1When Troop 44043 chose nutrition as the theme for their Silver Award project, they wanted to focus on providing affordable and easy access to nutrition to families in their community in the way of organic fruits and vegetables. We’re impressed by the outcome of their project since it offers a benefit to their community AND has a positive impact on the environment!

Read on to hear more about their project, as shared by the girls’ troop leader, Rasha Younan:

My troop thought of creative ways to encourage and raise awareness to families interested in growing their own food. But it wasn’t an easy feat. During the research phase of the project, they discovered some problems:

  • Climate — in the Pacific NW, the weather is colder with longer fall and winter seasons, where it’s hard to keep plants alive year-round.
  • Compact space — most families don’t have access to a big backyard or space to be able to grow food or build a greenhouse.
  • Affordability — the troop wanted to provide a solution that would be accessible to most families — especially low-income families.

This meant their greenhouse would need to fit anywhere, cost less than $25 to build, could hold 6-8 different sized plants AND would be easy to assemble and disassemble.


Hopelink-Building-2How did they choose the design?

Our troop used an engineering process to design, test and redesign a greenhouse that would meet the above criteria.

They designed, built and tested two different greenhouse models, and came up with pros and cons for each design, then redesigned based on those findings. The final design was more efficient and affordable.

The main feature in the final design is that the top frame was sloped to provide good rain drainage. The dimensions of the design can accommodate taller plants, can be used over a vegetable bed or 6-8 pots in a deck, patio or yard.

Our troop also invented a watering system within the greenhouse that also provides ventilation to the plants inside.

Our troop won Honorable 3rd place over 33 other teams in Washington in an engineering design competition with Ecybermission!


Sharing news of our project

After finalizing the design, the girls started to think of ways they could share their greenhouse design with others. They chose tFarmerFrog-1o create a flyer to raise awareness and encourage families to start their own garden and grow their own food and included the materials needed as well as step-by-step building instructions.

The girls teamed up with some nonprofit organizations in our community, participated in community events, and worked with a local food bank to raise awareness. They also distributed starter seeds to families.

Our troop distributed 100 flyers, and hosted a greenhouse house building workshop, helping low-income families build a greenhouse, plant starter plants, and take their greenhouse home!

My troop’s project helped raise awareness for families, allowing them year-long access to healthy, nutritious food!


Help troop 44043 share their design by downloading their flyer here: GSflyer_Final.

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