The idea of the Full Circle Greenhouse began as a Sustainability Alliance project in 2011. Students hoped to involve the CSB/SJU community in growing their own food, and felt a greenhouse was the best way to do so! Modelled off the Northlands Winter Greenhouse Manual by Carol Ford and Chuck Waibel, the project continued! Students worked to make connections across campus and turn their dream into a functioning passive solar winter greenhouse. The project was funded with support from the CSB Senate and internal grants.
In April 2013, construction began! Much of the labor was done by student volunteers with the generous help of George Hemmesch, the CSB Carpenter, and assistance from CSB/SJU grounds and maintenance crews. Construction was completed in December 2013, and planting started immediately. The first produce was harvested in February of 2014. Full Circle would like to thank Culinary Services for their support in developing the Green Dream Smoothie at O'Connells and integrating produce into specials at McGlynn's.
Since then, Full Circle has been operated by a group of students known as the Root Team with additional assistance from the CSB Sustainability Office. Planting begins in early October, and the first harvest is typically in November. Harvests run through May which allows produce to be sold to students, faculty and staff throughout the school year. Additional produce can be found around campus in the Green Dream Smoothie and will occasionally be sold to the MN Street Market Co-Op or local, winter CSA programs. Memmbers of the Root Team are volunteers and they organize the planting, watering and harvesting throughout the growing season.
Click here to watch a video about the development of the Full Circle Greenhouse.