Tour of Full Circle Earth Greenhouse in Woburn MA


end of jimi greenhouse at gardenOn July 20th, Carmen Thennes and I had a chance to go to Woburn MA to meet with James (Jimi) Carnazza. I first met Jimi at Arcosanti in the Fall of 09. He did an internship there in construction.

After leaving Arcosanti, Jimi has been working as a educational consultant helping special needs children and adults develop life skills. In addition, he has asked me to help him start a nonprofit called Full Circle Earth (FCE). We officially established the non profit in the state of MA in August of last year and are now working on 501c3 status with the IRS. I was one of the three founding board members and currently serve on the board.

The mission of FCE is to raise awareness of the ways to increase the availability of locally produced, healthy and organic food. Our work centers on an effort to establish a training  and educational center to sustainable living and food production. This includes a greenhouse and surrounding integrated food production systems as well as agricultural plots. This capstone/flagship project of FCE will feature key emergent technologies such as aquaponics, wormcomposting, biogas production, compost tea making, rainwater collection, the use of earth building techniques and other appropriate tech.

This last week on the 20th was first time I had met him since, leaving Arcosanti. Jimi gave me a tour of the greenhouse and showed me some of the projects he is working on including the compost tea system, a compost tumbler, the wormcomposting bed and the nearby community garden plot he has secure.

One of things we did when we arrived is helped Jimi weed the community garden.

Jeff and others helping weed garden

One of the things he has been able to do is work with EMARC – which is also his employer – to provide financial support for the greenhouse program in exchange for FCE enabling it as training and education venue for some of EMARC’s clients.

We also have submitted several grants to fund our work in the North Shore area of Boston in relation to organic and healthy land/lawn care which we see as a synergistic component of the greenhouse and in particular the vermicomposting/compost tea effort. While compost tea can made with any type of compost research indicates that compost tea made with worm juice or castings has higher levels of nutrients and microbes that function as SuperFood for plants.

Also we had a chance to visit James Mahoney who is a local horticulturist and florist who has some greenhouses he wants Jimi to dismantle and remove from his lot. James is 80 and has run the family business for quite some time. Now he is finally retiring and its time to clear out the property. He donated three greenhouses to FCE. One was more of a portable and flimsy that featured the thin film plastic membrane. The other two featured the more heavy duty carbonite plastic. One of thing we have to resolve is to site these greenhouses. A possibility discussed was moving them to Maine where we have a link with someone who wants to develop his property into a model of permaculture practice.

IMG_6296

Later we went over to meet Jimi’s friend Kyle Wakefield, his wife Cindy and his four kids.  There as we got to know Kyle and his family we had dinner using the beautiful cobb oven he made to cook some pizzas. We discussed the site in Maine further there and the possibility of living there with the owner Marco to develop the site as a hub for appropriate technology projects relevant to FCE’s mission. What resulted is a plan for taking my first trip up to Maine and exploring the property during the Labor Day weekend.

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