1877 Greenhouse Project at Rock Ledge Ranch

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A nonprofit fundraiser supporting

Rock Ledge Ranch Living History Association
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Rebuild the 1877 Greenhouse at Rock Ledge Ranch to enable the inclusion of experiential learning!

$23,759

raised by 85 people

$50,000 goal

Update #1

Update posted 3 months ago

The climate battery design is a patented system for storing radiant heat from solar exposure in the earth below the greenhouse all summer (see diagram below).  As the ambient temperatures cool off in the fall and winter, air blowers will pull the warm air from the earth below the greenhouse to heat the air and maintain an excellent growing climate year around.  

More information about the climate battery can be found here:

Climate Battery design and operation

 

    Installation of piping below grade.


Depiction of summer transfer of heat to ground with cooler air entering greenhouse.

HISTORY:

The Chambers family moved to Rock Ledge Ranch in 1874 and built a magnificent stone home today known as the Rock Ledge House.  By 1877, they realized that a greenhouse was essential to protect the crops from insects and the harsh winter conditions in Colorado.  The growing season was just too short without a greenhouse.  The picture below shows the original greenhouse in the background with the steam boiler shed just to the left of the residence.





The original greenhouse disappeared long ago.  The Rock Ledge House has been fully restored inside and out to represent life as the Chambers family experienced it from 1874-1900.  Now is the time to rebuild the greenhouse in its original location! 


ARCHITECT'S RENDERING:

We have a complete set of architect's drawings including the necessary excavation and utilities work needed to prepare the site for the new greenhouse to be constructed.  The new greenhouse will be 24' by 38' with a 12' by 24' classroom on one end. See the architect's rendering below. The stone facade will match the stone of the Rock Ledge House.  This new greenhouse is designed using state-of-the-art "climate battery" technology.  Heat stored underground all summer will be recirculated all winter to provide the heat source necessary for year around growing.

EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING:

The new greenhouse will boost the curriculum of our expanding school (& homeschool) programs at Rock Ledge Ranch.  Students will be able to "get their hands in the dirt".  The classroom space will be used as a weather buffer during the winter.  It will be equipped for students and teachers to preview lessons to be learned. Classes on home vegetable and fruit canning will be conducted in the classroom.  We are so excited to add this important feature to our ranch school programs.  From heritage seeds will grow the same varieties of food that the Chambers family raised in the 1880's. Food that can be seen, touched, tasted, and canned (preserved) just as pioneers in the 1877-1910 period.


OPPORTUNITY:

Please become an "investor" in the future of our children and grandchildren today!  We are 1/2 funded in this endeavor.  We need another $150,000 to start permitting and construction.  Thank you for supporting this project that will impact the lives of people, young and old, for generations to come!!



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