Former Shows & Episodes

The Manic Gardener

Kate Gardner

The Manic Gardener – Geothermal Greenhouse

Ever considered harnessing the power of your local hot spring to heat your greenhouse? If so, you have company. And if not, here’s your chance to meet some very different people.

Cindy Owings and Jim Patrick belong to Madison Farm to Fork, a group dedicated to promoting healthy, organic foods within their foodshed, the Madison Valley in southwest Montana. It so happens that this area abounds in geothermal power—hot springs galore, including the iconic Old Faithful. Because yes, this is right next door to Yellowstone Park.

The residents of Ennis (population 1,049) have forged a bond with a neighbor who has water rights to the largest hot spring in Montana. And with a fellow who works for a company that handles the technology necessary to capture the heat of the spring’s 190ºF water. And with a neuro-scientist who enjoys the challenge of designing the whole system. And with the individuals, groups, and businesses (over a hundred of them) that have contributed thousands of dollars, and thousands of hours, to building the greenhouses, writing grants, working in the schools, and tending the gardens.

This is the part of an occasional series on organic garden projects—projects that both depend on and build community.