In Summer 2021, we completed construction of two new net zero energy greenhouses at Garden Dreams that are powered by an on-site solar array. Our staff began germinating seedlings in February 2022 and will open the greenhouses for our seedlings sale on April 15, 2022.
A re-developed and community land trust-protected Garden Dreams location will serve as a source for quality seedlings, an education and workforce development site for young and emerging urban farmers, a gathering space for community events, and an essential food-growing resource for generations to come.
Phase two of this redevelopment project is scheduled for 2022-23 and will include a wash and pack work area, walk-in refrigeration, a teaching kitchen, educational space, event space for community gatherings, and expanded outdoor growing space.
The Garden Dreams greenhouse project team includes evolveEA, JASE Construction Services, and EIS Solar.
Thanks to Allegheny Land Trust, Collage Giving Fund, Green Mountain Energy Sun Club, Neighborhood Allies, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Posner Foundation of Pittsburgh, Proteus Foundation, Segal Family Foundation, Shear Family Foundation, and other generous supporters for making this project possible.
Garden Dreams Sustainability Features
A 10kW solar array will offset 100% of the farm’s electricity needs (net zero), including a rooftop array and a solar canopy along the east side of the greenhouses. Other energy efficient features of the greenhouses include an energy curtain system and a climate control system.
The greenhouse will employ an automated irrigation system designed to conserve water. Rain barrels, trees, and garden beds on site will help capture stormwater.
Location & Transportation:
Garden Dreams is one block away from the Port Authority’s Hamnett Station on the East Busway, making it easily accessible for residents throughout the Greater Pittsburgh region. There are several community gardens, as well as the school garden at Kelly Elementary, which are located within walking distance.
Materials & Resources:
An abandoned building on site was deconstructed by hand to reduce disturbing the soil, and its materials were donated to Construction Junction for re-use.