(Fremont County, WY) – Local nonprofit, Wind River Grow Our Own 307, completed their first geodesic dome greenhouse last week at the Eastern Shoshone Recovery Program in Fort Washakie.
Grow Our Own received the Dream Offering Grant for $30,000 to build six domes here in Fremont County as part of their continued mission to combat food insecurities.
The domes are designed by UW Extension state small acre/horticulture specialist Jeff Edwards and has built them across the State. Earlier this summer, Grow Our Own learned how to build them from Edwards.
This local nonprofit was founded in 2020 by Darrah Good Voice Elk and Deneica Barrett. They have grown themselves after starting with giving out garden supplies and teaching how to garden in the early days of the pandemic to building and giving out garden boxes, and now building domes.
Each dome is handmade and built to Edwards’ design that includes special connector hubs, venting and more. From dome kit creation to a completed dome takes about three days, according to Good Voice Elk. The dome’s diameter is 27 feet which provides ample space for several garden boxes. Between the cost of supplies right now and labor, they are about $5,000 each.
With climate change being a concern, she shared their goal is to find more funding to build more since the domes are really effective.
“These are what is going to be important for us to have food and be successful at gardening over time. I think everybody should have one.”
Janice Rebhan, Board President for Longmont Sister Cities who work with the Northern Arapaho Tribe, helped with the grant for the domes.
“What she envisions and what she wants to plan is to utilize these geo domes for youth for when they do collaborative efforts with the Northern Arapaho Tribe,” Good Voice Elk shared. “They would be learning how to grow food and utilize it in a way where they can learn about traditional medicines.”
Getting youth involved is also a goal of Grow Our Own.
Four of the six domes are going to the Early Intervention Program, Wyoming Indian Middle School, St. Stephens School, and the Northern Arapaho Tribal Historic Preservation Office. The location of the last dome has not yet been confirmed.
Just over a week ago, Grow Our Own moved into a workspace in Riverton where they can work year-round and continue to expand as they serve the entirety of Fremont County.
They are seeking volunteers to help build domes and garden beds. Garden and building supply donations would also be appreciated, she noted.
Learn more about Grow Our Own and how to help by clicking here.