Monday, March 5, 2012

The Dome

My local garden club went to visit a very unusual solar dome recently.  We extended the invitation to the local dowsers club and many of them showed up too.

We met at the post office and car pooled the 90 minutes to the remote location in the woods.

The day was freezing. The sky was dark and cloudy.

But that all changed the second we walked inside this magical domed structure.

A large green arbor welcomes you as you come in the front door into the Dome.

The air is warm, the smells are sweet and the colors are unbelievable.

The dome is 33 feet across and has lots of garden space to grow all kinds of greens, tomatoes and citrus, berries and trees!

The owners sell bags of fresh salad greens, chives, tomatoes, kale, 15 different herbs and other interesting stuff.    You can "pick your own" here in the dead of winter.  Unbelievable.

I had to keep pinching myself.

Lots of various lettuce and other tasty greens are picked and nibbled on daily by visitors like us.

Look at the GREEN in this place in February in Northern NH!

Even lemons grow here.  I gasped when I saw this lemon bush.  Its hard to believe all the tasty fruits here.

Small frogs hybernate in this dome and eat all the aphids and other bugs.

It is almost a complete eco system in this dome.

The soil is rich from added compost from the owners hens and goats.

Of course there are worms galore and other helpful bugs as well.

Oranges are all around the dome.  Walking around this structure is like a never ending Easter egg hunt.

All kinds of discoveries.  The only sound was that from other people exclaiming over what they had found.

The pool helps to keep the temperatures up in the dome as well as growing fish and cranberries.

We all tasted the cranberries, of course.  They were the appetizer to the rest of the snacks we would soon be taste testing.

Our group had dozens of questions.  We all talked, walked and nibbled.

More discoveries: Tangerines.

The owners had a huge photo album of how they built this dome and the entire progress of it.

Truly fascinating.

More citrus. 

The dowser club was so impressed with our ongoing field trips that they are now going to join our garden club.  Such a compliment!

This dome was complete with pool, reflectors, solar panels, plants, trees, worms, frogs, fish, berries and warmth.  The only thing we saw missing was a coffee maker......

Every time I would walk around I would find more hidden veggies, fruit or herbs.

None of us wanted to leave.

Especially when I found the grape fruit.

The red lettuce was tasty.

The owners answered all our questions and told us all the pros and cons to a dome structure.

The only con was the high humidity in the warmer months making it unpleasant to live in here or be a chicken coop.

Its like a never ending smorgasbord here.  Walk around and eat.

They had just harvested the very last of their tomatoes and had pulled them up.  The wooden structure were the tomato trellises where they were tied as they grew.

Did I mention the large fruit tree?
10 foot fig tree on the left.

Mini rhododendrons, in pots, were scattered amongst the lettuce.

The smells, the tastes and the colors were all amazing to me.

Better than the Boston Flower Show!

Herbs in the background closest to the windows.

More oranges.

Lemons and limes are hidden around the other plants.

Several shelves line the dome and are filled with other herbs and started plants.

Kale.   I nibbled on it.    My first taste of Kale.    It was really good.  Not at all what I expected.

I think I will grow some this summer.

Lettuce, kale and herbs.  Vents automatically open to let warm air out.

Of course there has to be a Buddha here.

Solar panels are in various places on and around the dome.

After we left the dome, so a different group could come in for a tour, we walked around the woods and made more discoveries.

This was their goat house and is now used for summer visitors.

Unusual walking stick trees.
Beautiful and Weird.

No matter which angle you look at this tree, its all twirly limbs and weirdness.

Small birds love to sit on this tree.

Anyone have one in their yard?  Ever seen one of these before?
This thing is real.  Its not plastic.

As we headed back to our vehicles, our visit here to the dome had us all thinking about spring and our gardens and what is possible to do with some creativity.

These field trip are inspirering, educational and thought provoking.

Can't wait for the next one!


  1. I would love to see and smell this in person! Thanks for the tour!

  2. Grew kale last year for the first time. I've used it fresh (in December) and dehydrated some.

    That dome tour was fascinating. Thanks!

  3. There was an indoor conservatory in downtown Chicago I used to go to when I lived there years ago ... I was always captivated by the powerful earthy smells in the warm, humid dome-room. Thanks for your tour! It brought back those memories.

  4. Janis,
    Facinating post. I have a "walking stick" tree compliments of Sallysue's mother, Butterfly. She gave me 1 branch and it has grown into a 25 ft tall tree. I call it a curley willow, but I think it must be a walking stick. I see lot's of Arugula in the Dome, yum, it's my favorite! Great pics. Great post. Thanks!