solar greenhouse

Earth-sheltered Solar Greenhouse

Our journey at Russon Family Farms has always been about embracing sustainable farming techniques. Today, we are proud to unveil our latest undertaking: an earth-sheltered solar greenhouse. This innovative structure utilizes not one but three technologies to maintain a consistent and efficient warmth, ensuring an optimal environment for plant growth.

First, the greenhouse takes full advantage of passive solar heating. For those unfamiliar with the concept, passive solar heating leverages the greenhouse’s design and materials to collect, store, and distribute solar energy in the form of heat in the winter and reject solar heat in the summer. Our greenhouse, with its southeast-facing orientation, is perfectly situated to capture the maximum amount of sunshine.

The second technology we have incorporated is geothermal energy. By building the greenhouse to a depth of 7.5 feet, we can tap into the earth’s steady underground temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures a relatively stable and warm environment, even during the colder months.

Lastly, we have integrated a h├╝gelkultur system into our greenhouse design. This practice involves piling organic matter (like compost) into a mound and planting into it. The microbial breakdown of this organic matter generates heat as a byproduct, thus providing an additional warmth source to our greenhouse.

For more information on the use of compost in greenhouses, check out this comprehensive guide: Composting in Greenhouses

Inside the greenhouse, the unique design encourages air circulation. As the air in the growing area cools, it descends into the walkway. Here, the air gets warmed by the geothermal heat and the compost breakdown before rising back up into the growing area. This natural air circulation ensures an evenly warm environment conducive to plant growth.

Building this earth-sheltered solar greenhouse has been a challenging yet rewarding experience. We found the perfect hillside, a southeast-facing slope, to optimize the capture of sunshine. Every element, from the depth of the greenhouse to the placement of the walkway, has been thoughtfully planned and executed.

Our goal at Russon Family Farms has always been to balance productivity with sustainability. We firmly believe that this new greenhouse, with its blend of solar, geothermal, and compost heating technologies, represents this commitment perfectly.

Stay tuned for more updates as we embark on this exciting new chapter of our farming journey, growing fresh, sustainable produce in our earth-sheltered solar greenhouse.

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