Biointensive Passive Solar Straw Bale Greenhouse

 Straw Bale

Biointensive Passive Solar Straw Bale Greenhouse

Why Build the Passive Solar Greenhouse?

This greenhouse will enable you to garden easily in difficult situations such as: short season, windy, low night time temperatures, animals eating your garden, low rainfall, high altitude, urban gardening, low humidity and/or cold winters.

This greenhouse will allow you to garden all year with a wide variety of vegetables, regardless of where you live.

Because this greenhouse is permanent and passive solar, it is much more effective than season extension.

What are the uses for a Passive Solar Greenhouse?

Extend the Growing Season and/or grow plants year around

Provide a Greenhouse for home use that is economical

Provide an economical source of heat

RELATED : Composting Greenhouse with Straw Bale Foundation

Other Heat Saving Ideas:Straw Bale

The plastic covering is a double layer of 6 mil plastic. A 60 cfm squirrel cage fan pushes in outside air into the double layer. This extra insulation created by the 4 inch air gap adds about 10 degrees to the inside air temperature on a cold day.

Interior Wall Surface

The interior wall need needs to be reflective but also water proof. We shopped around and found some material used in bathrooms that has a glaze on the outside.

How To Keep It Cool

Even in the middle of winter it can get quite warm in the greenhouse so getting rid of the excess heat is extremely important. Since warm air rises we installed an Exhaust Fan in the top eave.

Fans are rated on their CFM (or cubic feet per minute of air flow) and as a generally rule you need one CFM for each ft3 of greenhouse space: -ft2 x peak height or 24 ft x 12 ft x 12 ft=3456 cfm

They sell standard sizes and ours is 3200 cfm.

You also need an inlet shutter which is tied together with the exhaust fan so that it will open when the exhaust fan comes on -ours is a 3000 cfm 27 inch shutter.

RELATED : Straw Bale Gardening (The latest trend is growing vegetables in straw bales, a method that resembles container gardening, except that the bales are both the container and the planting medium)

 Via : inspirationgreen.comStraw Bale

 

The purpose of our project is to construct and document a biointensive passive solar greenhouse and offer the teaching material to city, suburb and rural households as a method of growing year-round produce. While hoop houses are all the rage, they are intended for larger farms growing substantial quantities with a sizable construction budget. This does not enable participation from the average homeowner. After years of research into passive solar designs, we plan to build a fossil-free food low-cost permanent structure that is a blend of the solar straw bale greenhouse at Inn Serendipity in Wisconsin (currently growing tropical produce in -10 °F) and the winter CSA model at Garden Goddess Winter CSA in Minnesota (supplying a winter CSA for 20 families in less than 1000 square feet). Our project will use the low-cost free-standing structure as winter growing system and a summer harvest dehydrator. A garage, barn or house can also be used as the north wall for an add-on lean-to.

RELATED : Straw Bale Gardening

TLW

   The project will be built using recycled materials or responsibility harvested new materials. The north and west sides of the building will be insulated using straw bales that are encased in cob (clay, sand, straw, bamboo) plaster, protected by large eaves and a sea salt whey sealer with goat milk paint. The south wall will be stick-built at a sharp angle with polycarbonate honeycomb panels that open for summer temperature control. While the greenhouse relies on the sun for energy, several thermal mass items will be used for heat retention, including straw bales, cement floor and retaining wall, soil beds, water tanks, undersoil heat coiling, and the water flow system with aquaplants and fish.

   Ultimately the project will be a tool marketed to the homeowner looking to supplement their food bill. Several venues, including WCC, Dixboro Farmers’ Market, A2 Public Schools, and area food co-ops, have been contacted about incorporating this project into agricultural education.

This short film details an interesting project to build a greenhouse on an urban farm in Cleveland using strawbales and deconstructed building materials. Part of a larger movement to support re-use of vacant properties in the city for urban agriculture.

RELATED : The Best Way to Grow Sweet Potato in Straw Bales, Bags and Containers

 

Other useful resources:1177

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