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Growing Up With A Greenhouse

Growing Up With A Greenhouse

As a kid, I spent many hours in a little greenhouse. My brother and I were barely teenagers when we built that greenhouse out of wood scraps, window frames, and old doors. The inside felt tropical, especially when we sprayed water on the jungle plants inside.  

As a kid, we learned that plants get water and nutrients through their leaves. Our orchids, bromeliads, and tropical ferns (aerial plants) intrigued us. We strapped them to the bark of branches, just like their roots cling to trees for life in the jungle. 

We entered a Sunset Magazine Contest in 1969 to showpiece kids with vegetable gardens. Our greenhouse concept wasn’t the right fit for that story, but the editor loved what we were doing and decided to run an article just on us, and our greenhouse.

That’s me as a 12-year-old growing tropical orchids. My sister and I look at the orchids that drink from the air and grow on trees

Fast forward to 30 years later, now with young kids of my own, I wanted my children to eat fresh veggies daily. How can a Dad keep edible plants fresh on the table, so veggies get eaten? That’s when the invention of the VeggiDome started to crystalize in my mind….and it all happened in my kitchen. 

 With my botanical experience as a kid, it seems only natural that I would come up with something like a VeggiDome. I could influence healthy eating by creating that tropical feeling, in my kitchen. 

Success did not come easy with the first VeggiDome.  Actually, for the first year or so, I put too much water in, and things didn’t last very long. Then with a drier balance, improved designs, a lot more science and testing, I added the dome jar lid on top and the VeggiDome started keeping veggies fresh on my counter through the whole week…even better than I expected! That’s when the dream of  VeggiDome came alive. 

(Photos are from Sunset Magazine January 1970.)