Sweet Briar College’s 26,000 square foot greenhouse has nine bays and an automated environmental control system. In addition to both hydroponic and soil-based growing space, there is a classroom/event area and cold storage.  Adjacent to the greenhouse, we have compost corrals using an aerated static pile system, fenced outdoor growing space, and facilities to support maintenance of our hydroponics equipment. 

2022 Willits Fellow Lauria McShane harvests basil in the greenhouse. 2022 Willits Fellow Lauria McShane harvests basil in the greenhouse.

Students have many pathways to involvement in the greenhouse. They may enroll in a one-credit hands-on course dedicated to learning about greenhouse operations; other classes across the curriculum also integrate the greenhouse into their labs and problem-based learning activities. For those students seeking even more involvement, they may choose to pursue a capstone or research project involving the greenhouse. Additionally, there are paid agriculture and greenhouse assistant positions; these student workers help with the day-to-day operations of the structure, including planting, harvesting, and tending crops.


If you are a student who wants to get involved in the greenhouse, or a community member interested in a tour, collaboration, or learning more about our markets and community supported agriculture subscription program, please contact Dr. Lisa Powell.  Please direct media inquiries about the greenhouse and our other campus agriculture programs to Dr. Powell as well.

If you are part of an organization (e.g. restaurant, school, distributor, or other business or institution) interested in purchasing lettuce, herbs, or other produce items wholesale from the greenhouse, please contact Sweet Briar College Greenhouse Facility & Hydroponic Operations Manager, Amanda Keller at or call 434-381-0073.

Hydroponic lettuce growing in the SBC greenhouse. Hydroponic lettuce growing in the SBC greenhouse.