The Sanborn Sun February - May 2000
Newton Greenhouse
Article By Mark M.
Web Site by Billy D.

        The Newton Greenhouse in Newton N.H. is one of three greenhouses in New England that makes its own soil. Most greenhouses buy their soil, which tends be more cost effective, but this is not necessarily true in the long run. The purchased soil has a lot of unnatural chemicals in it, which are not healthy for the plants, unlike the kind that the Newton Greenhouse uses. Newton Greenhouse's soil is very cost effective and has no harmful chemicals.

       Tom McElroy, the owner of the greenhouse, gave us a tour of the greenhouse and explained how the soil is made. A large bin that holds the soil was approximately fifteen feet high and twenty feet in width. The soil is blasted with steam to kill harmful bacteria. Lime is added into the soil to cut down on water usage. Peat moss is also an important ingredient added into the soil. Eventually a mold will form on the top layer of the soil. Which does not look like it would be helpful but it is actually "Beneficial for the soil," McElroy said. The mold is a lighter shade of brown than the soil it self and can be easily determined from the soil. The mold makes fungi that helps the soil and protects the soil from harmful bacteria. The soil is also heated at a constant temperature through out the year to keep it fresh and fertile.