There’s a saying that “not all love stories start with roses, some start with petunias, too.”
It was Carson’s beautiful downtown petunia baskets we began seeing in the mid 2000s that became the first step in the journey to establish The Greenhouse Project that today has two established greenhouses providing several non-profits with sustainable fresh food for our food insecure and also operates as teaching facilities to encourage our high schoolers to pursue careers in agriculture.
Wanting to grow her own colorful petunias instead of importing them from California, Karen Abowd, president and founder of the non-profit, talked with fellow enthusiasts and the Carson City Cultural Commission in 2008 to propose the concept of a greenhouse. The idea was met with enthusiasm and the flowers you see in early summer are still nurtured in the 2160 square foot greenhouse built by Lopiccolo Construction officially opened on Dec. 17, 2011 on one-acre of land leased from Carson High. But that’s not all that is grown there.
It would make sense long time restaurateur Karen Abowd, who with her husband Charlie have fed thousands since they took over the venerable, but now closed, Adele’s in 1993, would be the driving force to start a project that would allow her to remain in the forefront of the sustainable food movement also known as “farm to table.” As she prophesized in an interview with Reno News and Review on April 3, 2014, “Agriculture and sustainability is going to be ever-increasingly important.” Adding, “With global warming and with all the issues that this world is facing, being able to be sustainable is huge.” Today, the original greenhouse continues to grow year-round vegetables and herbs and lives up to their promise of “growing, giving, and teaching for a healthier, greener, sustainable community.”