DREAM GREENHOUSE What's your style? Long term Solutions for Homesteaders, Permaculturists and Plant Lovers.

in homesteading •  2 years ago

We've all been there, nose against the glass watching the snows melt, dreams of fresh veggies and forage just a few weeks away.  If ONLY  the frost would leave us so we can get started!  Sure we might use cold frames, or start some trays inside, but I'm sure many of us have muttered under our breath how nice it would be to eventually just get a greenhouse.

Also, this post is dedicated to @wyzz2020 for being the only one to participate in my contest to choose an article for me to write.  You can see what I'm talking about here:

https://steemit.com/steemit/@ecoknowme/108-followers-ecoknowme-reaches-new-milestone-free-giveaway

So this post won't likely be what you are expecting, nice crystally glass greenhouses, inspired by Victorian era designs that were only affordable to the richest members of society, at the time.  Maybe you've seen a classic example in the Golden Gate Park in San Fran CA.

But what I would like to offer are some examples that can really help small farmers, homesteaders or people wanting to apply Permaculture, small scale organic farming or just want to decrease their dependence on an increasingly unsustainable and expensive food system.  Whatever your reason for thinking of making or installing your own greenhouse, these designs might help you in the long run.

Down to Earth:  Walapini

Walapini Greenhouses are a design developed by Christian Missionaries in Central and South America to help families grow food year round.  By lowering the growing space into the Earth, it is possible to regulate the temperature in colder seasons and draw on the thermal mass to keep things comfortahle.

Interesting interview:

Walipini Underground Greenhouses 1/3: Sterling Allan & Jeffrey Grupp on The Power Hour   

Links on Builds:

http://www.theapricity.com/forum/showthread.php?141421-Walipini-Style-Greenhouses

http://enerchange.org/2016/02/greenhouse-in-winter/

https://www.treehugger.com/green-architecture/build-underground-greenhouse-garden-year-round.html

Underground Greenhouse: Mike Oehler's Design

There is great book, considered a classic by some, called The Earth Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book

Very similar to the Walapini but the construction method is a bit different and is largely based on his work in another book called the $50 and Up Underground House.


Earthships  Why not live where your food is?

If this image makes you drool but cringe at the same time, remember this is about as fancy as they come, a more affordable and accessible design is available in the form of the Hut  and the Survival Model  (which has built in small greenhouse) that can grow food, clean and produce breathable air, treat greywater and heat your home!  All in one!

The HUT

Probably one of the most succinct videos available on youtube regarding the construction of Earthships, consider this video a primer for the skills you'll need to make your own Earthship

Survival Model Earthship


And if you want to see what these Green Machines are capable of:

A Fantastic Project known as The Valhalla Movement got popularized through a very successful Kickstarter Project:

This led to another great project Greenhouse of the Future


You might also want to check out Rob Avis' Design he uses in Canada, because of lack of sun/thermal mass, a rocket stove heats up a bench that radiates out through the night to keep peppers popping and tomatoes dropping:

The Avis' Permaculture Homestead  //  pt. 1

  The Avis' Permaculture Homestead  //  pt. 2

The Avis' Permaculture Homestead  //  pt. 3


I chose these designs because they integrate many elements that reduce the energy needed to maintain appropriate temperatures.  Rainwater harvesting can be integrated and other elements such as those scene in the Earthship videos are just as wise to try and incorporate.  Aquaponics can reduce your water and fertilizer needs and you can have fish for dinner or as friends if you just want some ornamental buddies to power your plants.

Another Guru to listen to:

The Winter Harvest with Eliot Coleman

Wonder how much easier it would be to keep warm if the greenhouse had been designed a little different.  But his is moveable, so advantages and disadvantages to each design.



What are your thoughts?  Do you have an amazing Greenhouse you'd like to show off or are you contemplating one of the designs shown here?   Any tips, links or additions are always appreciated.  This is how we learn, right?


hope this was helpful to some of you.


To Your Seedlings!


@ecoknowme


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Very nice post, good info, good style, a bit long as i had to pee

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Yeah, there are a good few hours in there of material if you watch the whole thing through. Really meant for inspiration and reference. I would like to counter the insta-post mentality I see on here and instead compile a lot of material into one place to save people the googling and research I had to go through. There is so much amazing stuff out there, and if you like to cook, spoon feeding info in one bowl is always comforting. If all the information is new, it is a nice place to come back to over the week and let the mind wander and dream :) thanks for your comment Bub saar.

lovely well thought out post with SO many great examples.. I dont think you missed a trick!!

Might try one of these ideas one day! Growing without greenhouses where i live is So risky for many reasons.. Its nice to have everything a little better protected from weather and the wildlife!

thanks!

Definitely going to come back to this post. I'm familiar with much of what you talked about, but you brought up new ideas too that I want to revisit later. I've always thought about combining the building the building technologies of an earthship with an earthbag home. I like the earthship systems, but us earhbags instead of tires. Pounding tires is waaay too much work and takes more time.

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I can't argue that. But one consideration is that you could offer a 'workshop' and get young people to pay money to pound your tires for you. Earthbags are easier, but they will not be able to give you the same Thermal Mass. If you are in a moderate climate, might not make much difference, but for those in colder climes, that could be the difference between needing some firewood, or no heating system at all! To each his own, but I also wasn't too keen on tires (what diff would it make?) until I saw a presentation of a study done by a university about the physical properties of different styles of natural building. Nothing came close to a passive solar greenhouse with rammed tires. Not earthbag, rammed earth, adobe, cob or even stone! I would still recommend doing what you think is best for your situation, but if labour is the only issue.... I have friends who ask me about builds ALL the Time... people want to learn and if you hand them a hammer, they might. ;) Thanks for your comment @aboutyourbiz !

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Yes, maybe, but I cringe at the thought filling all those tires, especially when what I want to build is more of a lodge than the small earthships that are typical. Will keep in mind the insulation factor though.

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Don't, You wanna remember THERMAL MASS. Insulation keeps heat in and cold out or the other way... but thermal mass is what will be able to act like a battery to store the solar energy and radiate it out over the daily and yearly cycle. One of the videos in here is of the Phoenix Earthship, might be a bit TOO big as a lodge (or maybe not the style you are thinking about) but gives you an idea of the other side of the spectrum (luxury vs survival) I don't think tires are for everything or everyone, but they do have some pretty awesome properties and can be useful for bits and bobs.

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This is what gave me the idea for a lodge

it would have to be on a slope to get the thermal mass for both upper and lower floors. Obviously location has to be taken into consideration. But right now that's all I'm doing, considering lol

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looks like i lost all my text. this is where i got the idea for a lodge, and it's certainly location specific

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The text thing annoys me too (I even get a ghost glimpse of what looks like your original message but then it gets lost in the transfer/opening.... weird :/ , plus then you end up seeing your own replies to your vid, pic or gif or whatever.... anyway, having an existential steemit day, where was I? Right. That is gorgeous!

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Does a lodge make more sense to you in light of that? I imagine trees, orange, lemon, peach, whatever wouldn't grow naturally where the lodge was located, in an area like the one you see looking over the balcony. Imagine the fragrance of the blossoms. Seems like they would need to be enclosed somehow with screen or something since you would want to allow pollinators access to them at times. Hard to describe the concept in my head in writing, can't gesture with my hands lol. And you don't let the trees get to big so you can have more in a smaller space. I read about that somewhere don't know what it's called but you shape them and keep them below 5-6 feet. Anyway...

Thank you some much for the shout-out @ecoknowme ! Seeing the San Francisco glass house brings back memories of countless days spent in the Golden Gate park. I love that thing and haven't even thought of it in a awhile- so thank you! This is a great informative and fantastic article!!!

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And it was fun to put together! Thanks again for answering the call. I may have to count on you if no one continues to notice my lonely content. Haha. Glad I could rekindle some memories too! Cheers @wyzz2020 !

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Hey you can always count on me, friend!

One design I didn't see mentioned which will help keep and develop heat was Bill Mollison's design with the chicken coop on one side and the greenhouse on the other! That's a good one!

We need a greenhouse, bad! I'd like to do the walapini! Unfortunately we would have to rent equipment in order to do so. Thankfully we've got like two feet of not too rocky ground but I know lower is full of it. I think the walapini is great for our location because it wouldn't get berated by the wind as badly.

In any design, we would have to invest in shade cloth because the Central Oregon sun is sooooo powerful! But it's definitely something we know we need to do!

I had a crappy $80 greenhouse and man if I didn't melt all my starts on the first 60 degree day! Hahaha there's a steep learning curve for greenhouses. Maybe a real nice how-to would be cool!

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Oooo post the link if you have it! Kinda reminds me of a design I saw that rotates chickens and veggies in a mandala design. They do all the work after each crop and keep everything clean, dug and fertilized. I also would not be keen on digging a Walapini by myself but there are work parties, or better yet, workshops. Google your brains out for a week/month, in the meantime, set a date advertise on here and get a group of enthusiasts who will pay good money to learn, work and share an unforgettable experience that empowers them to do the same... maybe when they get land or their wife gives them permission now that they 'know' what they are doing. That's how I got into Earthships, just helped a buddy. you could also do a hybrid with rammed tires and a bit less digging down.
Shade cloth is brilliant, though vines add yum and reduce sun too (oh but they also die, right). And submerged beds instead of raised, etc etc.
Though it must get hella cold there in the winter no? Something against the south side of the house could mean you don't have to put your shoes on for cherry tomatoes in Nov, plus could cut down on your heating bill. Earthship Vol III gets into retrofits for existing houses if you're interested. I will do some more research on how-tos too @farmstead :)

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Fantastic! Thank you so much :)

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Also I think yours is actually my favorite since I could see that getting applied to them all! Really nice video too! you know, @farmstead , I almost don't care if we make a bishillion cryptos on here... having good ideas and fresh eggs is kindof more valuable! Congrats on the double yorker too, btw! I see it as a great Omen for you!!!

If you liked this article you might enjoy something my friend @eco-alex polished up: https://steemit.com/earthship/@eco-alex/10-reasons-why-earthships-are-freakin-awesome

Awesome post! I always dreamed of having my own greenhouse, but now my dream is my own Earthship!

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This WAS meant to be a gateway post. :)