On January 13th, a group from Arcosanti took a tour of Yavapai College’s Chino Valley new LEED Silver building and greenhouses. The new building houses the classrooms and offices of the Chino Valley Agribusiness & Science Technology Department and was the winner of the “Best of 2004 Green Building Under $5 million” from Southwest Contractor magazine.

[text and images: planning intern Maureen Connaughton]

Our tour was led by John Morgan, the Dean of the Agricultural Department, who was raised in farming in Montana.

The school focuses on hands-on learning; each student designs their own growing system during their time in the program. This tank is a part of their aquaculture program.

A favorite feature of the greenhouses is the hydroponic tomatoes. One entire bay is dedicated to tomatoes, which grow in a vermiculite medium and are supported by twine from above. The twine can be continuously “dropped” to bring the prime harvest height of the tomato within easy reach and allows the tomato to continue growing vertically.

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