Newly erected geodesic dome fits plans of organic market

Barbara Hootman

Black Mountain Roots & Fruits Market added a large geodesic dome to the property on South Ridgeway Avenue. The structure has provoked a lot of questions from customers and curious neighbors.

Geodesic domes aren’t new to the mountains, but they are thought-provoking. Buckminister Fuller, the renowned 20th Century visionary, writer, philosopher, architect and systems theorist, designed and built his first geodesic dome while teaching at Black Mountain College during the summers of 1948-49.

Kyle Nuccilli, co-owner of Roots & Fruits Market, said a friend of his in Austin, Texas had the dome. It fascinated Nuccilli.

His friend, John Edwards, heads a global movement “Food is Free.” The organization, begun in Texas, concerns itself with growing communities and food by planting gardens in front yards and sharing the harvest with whomever needs nutritious food.

“After the dome arrived, it took me and some volunteers three days to put it up,” Nuccilli said.

He is excited about what the dome could be used for in the future.

“It is perfect to trellis anything that grows from a vine, like peas and beans,” he said. “I think we will cover the entire dome with growing vegetables. I hope it will become a heated greenhouse in the future that will provide a tropical paradise for customers and visitors. We’ve discussed using it as a place to eat sitting in swinging chairs and tables, since our café is about to open for the season. The plants that have grown in this area will go in other spots in the garden.

“I’ve had a lot of people in a short time to stop by and share their stories of having a dome and how they used it. I want to connect people with the food they are eating and how it is grown. You can grow tomatoes upside down and they would be perfect inside the dome. I want people to continue to stop by and share their stories with me. Don’t be shy. Tell me what you think we should do with the dome.”

The shop’s property is limited, so “to find more growing room, we have to think ‘vertical,’” he said. “And the dome can really help us with vertical gardening.”

Margaret Webber, a volunteer in the Roots and Fruits garden, was impressed with the dome.

“I think it is pretty awesome addition,” she said. “I like it because its potential uses are so many. It is strong enough to play on or become a greenhouse or a special events area.”

Kyle and his mother Sheia Nuccilli have owned Roots & Fruits Market for three years. They share a mission of bringing the freshest organic vegetables from the gardens to the market to the customers. They are an outlet for local farmers who share their mission.

The addition of the geodesic dome fits in with Kyle Nuccilli’s goal of the business’ being a model of sustainable agriculture.