Sustainable Living: World’s First Solar Greenhouse at Little River Flower Farm

Interview with the owner of the World’s First Solar Greenhouse at Little River Flower Farm in Buxton, Maine. We were honored to have the opportunity to visit and learn about the solar technology used at this organic and sustainable farm. We interviewed owner Bruce Stedman about his 6,400 square foot solar greenhouse which was developed together with Maine Technology Institute and Maine Sustainable Agriculture over three years ago.

The greenhouse features flexible solar panels that have the dual function of generating green energy as well as cooling the greenhouse in the summer, making it economically and environmentally sustainable. The greenhouse was built with steel and pultruded fiber glass with flexible solar panels laminated onto the roof which provide a peak output of 14.4kW (1.2 mega watt per month), powering all pumps and fans and is a net-zero energy structure during the summer months.

The greenhouse incorporates 14 raised grow beds and a root zone radiant heat system powered by a biomass wood pellet boiler. This system uses heated water pipes that allow for precise temperature control to each individual raised bed with minimal excess heat loss.

Bruce explained how this greenhouse was built and also talks about their next project starting in 2020, a new prototype of sustainable greenhouse called the Growbox which will serve as a demonstration facility. The new structure can be moved and used for different purposes from growing, farming to offices and government buildings during crisis situations etc.

Owners Bruce and Nancy Stedman have been growing certified organic produce and flowers at their farm called Little River Flower Farm in Buxton, Maine for the past 20 years. Their solar greenhouse is used to grow organic food and flowers 365 days per year. The couple provides their locally grown food to surrounding grocery chains, markets and restaurants. Besides working on their farm, Nancy also leads their flower cutting and floral arrangement business and Bruce leads their landscaping business and together they built a beautiful tiny house which can be rented via Airbnb.

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Sustainable Living: Interview With Little River Flower Farm / Cottage / Wedding Flowers

The Little River Flower Farm Airbnb is a lovely, rustic Post and Beam Cottage with pine wood interior, Eco-friendly construction and interior design. The Tiny Home has a separate bedroom with queen size bed, a kitchen and dining area and a bathroom with shower, toilet and hot water. This Airbnb has heating and air conditioning for comfort through all four seasons, it is a laptop friendly workspace and provides all the amenities for a relaxing stay.

This Airbnb is located at the Little River Flower Farm in Buxton, Maine, just 30 minutes outside the coastal city of Portland Maine and close to many of Maine’s finest breweries and restaurants. The farm grows organic vegetables, fruits and berries, and over 3 acres of perennial and annual organic cut flowers that are sold locally as well as offered as “pick your own”, perfect for weddings, parties and other special occasions.

The farm is also a sanctuary for a few chickens that are roaming freely and happily. Airbnb guests are welcome to walk the grounds and take joy in viewing the beautiful flowers and vegetables that are growing from May to October. Great hiking trails and a private path along the Little River are accessible from the Airbnb and even in the winter months snowshoeing, cross country skiing and ice skating are outdoor activities that are available in the area.

Airbnb Listing for Little River Flower Farm Cottage:

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