Historic St. Andrews - May 20, 2011 After two re-builds and 182 Sierra Mist bottles, the prototype panel for the "green" house is on display at St. Andrews GROWS! Community Garden. "It's beautiful!", exclaims Charlotte Smith, gardener at the community garden and co-owner of Two Sisters Custom Designs in St. Andrews. "We really didn't know what to expect, but it's gorgeous and the greenhouse will be a great point of interest in St. Andrews".
The design of the greenhouse has been a challenge because, although recycled 2-liter bottle greenhouses have stood in Europe for over a decade, exact plans for the designs do not exist. "It took us three attempts to work out exact dimension and learn the nuances of working with this unconventional building material," say Ronnie Barnes, garden coordinator. "We've had a lot of help from our 'garden-eers', Richard and Barney, both at the design and build ends of the spectrum. But now we've got a panel design we can reproduce that will stand the test of time." The bottle columns incorporated into the design have the same R-value as one inch of rolled insulation.
The garden has already received several inquiries from other communities asking for help to get their recycled bottle greenhouse projects going. "It's contagious!", Barnes says. "We hope many communities catch our vision." The gardeners are working on an instruction manual and set of 10' X 12' plans, with pictures, to share with other communities after the St. Andrews greenhouse is complete.
The greenhouse panel can be clearly seen from Beck Avenue and will be discussed in more detail during community garden tours. The public is invited to a free St. Andrews Ferry boat ride and garden tour, leaving from the farmers' market at St. Andrews Marina every Saturday at 10 and 11am. The tour lasts about 20 minutes. To schedule private tours, call 850.763.7359.