The BioDome Project
What will you be having for dinner tonight? Where did you get that food? Was it a local supermarket or a corporate chain store? And better yet, do you know where that food really originated from? Simple enough questions but not always ones with easy answers. The BioDome Project, located in downtown Jamestown, NY, was started under the premise that there are too many people who not only cannot answer these questions but also do not even take the time to contemplate them.
It is this societal unawareness that has helped lead to problems like “super pests”, water shortages, the death of massive quantities of bees, and transportation inefficiencies. Should these issues continue to go unchecked the results will have potentially catastrophic ramifications to mankind.
That is where Ryan Peterson, Bill Thomas, and Angela Caley decided that they could make a difference, even if that difference started off as a small one. You see, if things go according to their plans, they will educate you; you will pass that newfound information on to someone else and the cycle will repeat itself until collectively we have a more socially responsible decision making mindset.
So what exactly is The BioDome Project? Defining it in one sentence is a difficult task. It is a locally owned art gallery, artisans’ market, and indoor gardening experiment that is focused on growing plants and helping to enhance the Jamestown, NY community.
According to Peterson, local artists of all modalities can apply to sell their goods in the space that the BioDome runs. To date the storefront has merchandise from about 20 different vendors and has plans to add more this coming summer. Those artists pay a monthly rental fee and a small percentage of their sales to the BioDome group, and in return the BioDome crew promotes and sells the inventory that is in the store.
Upon entering the establishment you will find a space that has been meticulously refurbished to portray the ideologies of the BioDome Project. Wood floors, clean off-white walls furnished with artwork and locally crafted shelves, and an impressive homemade system of hydroponically nourished plants in the front window make up the main storefront layout. The entire process took about seven months to complete and the attention to detail is noticeable, not only in the aesthetic layout but also from the pride in the voices of the owners as they speak about this project that has grown leaps and bounds in less than a year. There is more space available for expansion and the trio of partners has plans to do so in the near future.
The BioDome Project is the quintessential definition of a labor of love. Peterson states that he grew up with a family that was all about preservation of resources, shopping locally, and growing your own food. When he had the opportunity to team up with a couple of like-minded friends in an effort to spread that philosophy, Peterson jumped at it.
While the ‘shop local’ philosophy and the promotion of local artists is a noteworthy undertaking, the truly unique aspect of The BioDome Project is its emphasis on hydroponic systems to grow plants and vegetables. As Peterson explained, hydroponics allows for the roots of the plants to get direct access to all the water and nutrients that they require. The results are that the plants grow faster and more efficiently because this system allows for less water usage over the lifetime of the plant. Additionally it is a cleaner system, as you aren’t dealing with dirt or fertilizers so it can be done inside your house without making a mess. Another added bonus (for those of you who might not be so good at remembering to water your plants) is that the hydroponic system all but takes care of the watering process for you. If you are interested in purchasing hydroponics for your own use, The BioDome crew is very knowledgeable about the process and they do take orders for building systems that you can install in your home. There will be a plant and seed showcase at the shop soon so make sure to stay tuned to the website and Facebook for information on that and how you can start your growing season off strong!
The BioDome Project
207 Pine St., Jamestown, NY 14701
Open Wed-Fri 12pm-8pm | Sat 12pm-6pm
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