Deep winter gardening or how to feed youself in the coming Ice Age:

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by DKR, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    'Deep winter' greenhouse grows veggies year-round

    This piece focuses on a couple and their greenhouse at Paradox Farm in southern Otter Tail County not far from Lake Christina
    Nothing should be growing this winter day on these frozen, rolling hills.

    Yet here are green vegetables, kale and lettuce, growing in near -90 degree temperatures. They're thriving in a specialized "deep winter" greenhouse, letting farmers Tom Prieve and Sue Wika grow fresh vegetables year round -- without a crushing electric bill.

    More at linked article.

    Solar isn't the only way to go. Old school methods still work:
    Permaculture magazine

    Solar will work - with some planning
    Reinventing the Greenhouse
  2. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    Nice setup they have there, but I wonder about the effectiveness of the clear plastic panels over something like Solex pleated panels for light diffusion and insulation. They also have a gas heater, I wonder if that is propane or natural gas (propane being the more expensive of the two). I like the rain gutters for growing.. That is a slick use of space, and with only a $5K investment that is cheap. Of course they did already have the barn wall to build against, so that cost wasn't included.

    Overall... Great ideas.
    Gator 45/70 and Motomom34 like this.
  3. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

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  4. deMolay

    deMolay Monkey+

    This is the set up I am sold on. Oranges in Nebraska year round gardening.
    Ganado likes this.
  5. deMolay

    deMolay Monkey+

    I like the idea of a pellet stove and the ash can be used in gardening. We give our wood ash to our chickens to dust themselves and get rid of their bugs they love it.
    Dunerunner likes this.
  6. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    I'd question that -90 figure......I have a couple of greenhouses, and I'll tell you right now when the temp hits zero, heating is damn near impossible....if they are doing it with sheet plastic glazing in true -90 temps, they have one heck of a heater going inside.

    Second point is yes, you can grow greens which will relieve food boredom in winter and provide some necessary nutrients....but the calorie content is pitiful low.
    Thunder5Ranch, Ganado and Dunerunner like this.
  7. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

  8. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Thermal Mass Construction is an Engineering Marvel all by itself... I wionder if an equvilent Weight of Concrete, with PEX Loops installed, that are feed by Hydro-Solar Collectors would be as efficent?
    deMolay likes this.
  9. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe


    We are being told to eat local and seasonal food, either because other crops have been transported over long distances, or because they are grown in energy-intensive greenhouses. But it wasn't always like that. From the sixteenth to the twentieth century, urban farmers grew Mediterranean fruits and vegetables as far north as England and the Netherlands, using only renewable energy.

    These crops were grown surrounded by massive "fruit walls", which stored the heat from the sun and released it at night, creating a microclimate that could increase the temperature by more than 10°C (18°F). Later, greenhouses built against the fruit walls further improved yields from solar energy alone.

    It was only at the very end of the nineteenth century that the greenhouse turned into a fully glazed and artificially heated building where heat is lost almost instantaneously -- the complete opposite of the technology it evolved from.
    Ganado likes this.
  10. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    So called Heat chimney for ventilation in a warm climate.
    Ganado likes this.
  11. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

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  12. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

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  13. deMolay

    deMolay Monkey+

    Sounds like an interesting concept. Use the back wall on a south facing greenhouse, Install pex embedded into the concrete, tee it into the solar collectors and a wood stove heating coil. Would probably have to run some per centage of glycol in cold climates.
    3cyl likes this.
  14. deMolay

    deMolay Monkey+

    Yah I noticed that, but basically he buries 6 inch drain pipe, 5-6 ft down then loops it out 300 ft and back to the structure and use's a fan on each pipe to draw the warm air, number of pipes based on square footage of area to be heated.
    Ganado likes this.
  15. deMolay

    deMolay Monkey+

    Reminds me of the Russian Fireplace designs, or the old Roman system of heating and cooling their homes. Maybe make the back wall of the greenhouse into a Russian Fireplace
  16. deMolay

    deMolay Monkey+

    Make the backwall of greenhouse part of the house as well. Have the firebox inside the house. You could warm your house and the greenhouse at the same time. Masonry Stoves, Masonry Heaters and Masonry Fireplaces: Build Your Own.
    Ganado likes this.
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