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Extension > Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships > Central > Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems > Horticulture Center at Wadena-Deer Creek School

Horticulture Center at Wadena-Deer Creek School


Build a demonstration passive solar greenhouse on the Wadena Deer Creek school campus to research how to efficiently raise food for the school cafeteria year round.  


Project partners and participants include University of Minnesota Extension horticulture educators, the Wadena Deer Creek School Superintendent and School Board, the Sustainable Farmers Association, M-State, Wadena County Health, Tri-County Health, and Community Action Partnership.


  • Integrate the high school curriculum with a food growing experience.
  • Build an innovative year round greenhouse and prove it is viable.
  • Increase the availability of healthy local food for consumption in the school cafeteria.
  • Enlist the major institutions and employers in Wadena in trying to create a community wide embracing of a LIVEWELL plan and employ the Univ. of MN to measure resulting change.
  • Build and equip a 24 x 72 foot greenhouse by June 2013
  • Grow and sell enough produce in 2014 so the cost of operating the greenhouse and its manager are self-sustaining.


The goal is to produce more than 4000 pounds of fresh greens (20,000) servings) for the cafeteria in our first winter season.  In addition, the project will synchronize harvesting and food supply with existing growers in order to provide the school with fresh local food availability every day of the year.


$12,000 from CRSDP

Leveraged resources

Wadena ELKS Lodge $10,000
Wadena Community Foundations (Tri-County, Browne Family, Harrison family, Bottemiller Family) $5,000
Wadena Construction volunteers $30,000
STEP board members $10,000
M-State faculty (in-kind) $5,000
U of M faculty (in-kind) $5,000
Private donors $5,000
Wadena County Public Health
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