Year Round Gardening? In Fargo? It Could Be

Thanks to Dallas Flynn of Frazee, MN for showing us around his beautiful Forest Glen Farm and his first of it’s kind solar/high tunnel greenhouse.  This innovative greenhouse uses the power of the sun to heat air that is blown through tubes to maintain a higher ground temperature for plants during the cold weather months.  He built the whole unit for less than $26,000 in 2008.

We took this fun road trip to learn more about this working example of this unique greenhouse.  I’m working with some staff and friends in Fargo to find a good site for a possible pilot project solar/high tunnel here.  It would be great to find a site that’s highly visible and easy to get to so people could walk, bike, or take transit if they don’t have a car or don’t want to drive.


I’m also going to Madison WI Congress of New Urbanism June 1 – 4th to learn more about community gardens.  As a significant component of healthy, sustainable, and active urban design, they are showcasing Madison’s success with community gardens and greenhouses to aid hunger, increase access to fresh local food, add more activities warm or cold.

Here’s another example of a local family building there own unique greenhouse built from repurposed materials:

If you’d like to see more about this idea go to the Fargo Comprehensive Plan citizen engagement tool Mind Mixer at replicate  in Fargo to help promote local foods and community gardening.

MindMixer acts as a virtual town-hall allowing community planning to happen online.

Now back to Dennis Flynn and Forest Glen Farm:

They built this in 2008 and now can grow 300 days a year greatly expanding their production and fun.  The Flynns don’t go south for the winter, if they want to visit the tropics, they go have lunch in their greenhouse where it’s 80 degrees in the middle of winter.

The Flynns Forest Glen Farm is a member of Minnesota Grown, he’s also a wine maker and member of the ND Wine Growers Association.  You can find Dennis on Tuesdays and Saturdays in the summer months at the Detroit Lakes Farmers Market 10 am to 2 pm

The first ones to greet us at Forest Glen Farm were the Scottish Highland cattle
Dallas Flynn in his solar/high tunnel greenhouse













Dallas doesn’t uses organic gardening techniques, not a spot on his plants






























Dallas built this 30″ X 48′ solar/high tunnel for about $26,000. His family uses some of the produce and he markets the rest Tuesdays and Saturdays in Detroit Lakes Farmers Market













Dallas with his Forest Glen Farm produce trailer. He’s a member of Minnesota Grown.












Dennis has a great adaptive use of a product for starting new plants that helps transfer them into soil without disturbing the roots













Dennis planted this forest in 1986 and grows delectable shitake mushrooms on wood













They already had a great shitake harvest, the next one will be late June



















The Flynns not only built a beautiful home for themselves, they build the bees unique homes for hives giving them room to pollenate while reducing the risk for disease if one colony picks something up













Dallas built this house for a show and tell about the colony. His grandchildren aren’t the only ones that are fascinated by it