A Greenhouse Grows in Cleveland

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It’s been a year since Tim Smith launched Community Greenhouse Partners at the former St. George Catholic Church at East 67th and Superior. He brought with him ambitious plans and projected an ambitious budget of more than a million dollars. The only thing Greenhouse Partners was missing: a greenhouse.

But not anymore. With the cost of a new model an unattainable $40,000 or so, Smith turned to Craigslist, where he found a 125-by-25-foot, 1975-vintage beauty in rural Middlefield for only $4,000.

“It was at the Chelsea Flower Garden, on land they were donating to the Trust for Public Land,” says Smith. “They had taken it down long before that, and they were liquidating it. We caught them at the right time. They don’t even make them like this anymore.”

And although necessity drove the purchase, Smith says it’s in keeping with the Partners’ mission of sustainable, year-round growing. “By using old, abandoned greenhouses, we save money, we extend our growing season, and we can grow stuff in the winter,” he says, pausing to celebrate their commitment to recycling old stuff too.

You can’t see the new greenhouse in action quite yet. Delivered in mid-December, it’s just a pile of pieces, awaiting assembly once the Partners work out their permit with the city.

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