Intro to Passive Solar Greenhouse Design (Online)

$49.00 CAD

Learn the secrets of the four seasons garden – and take your first step toward harvesting fresh produce year-round!


Learn the secrets of the four seasons garden – and take your first step toward harvesting fresh produce year-round!

Fresh produce, year-round?

No, we haven’t moved Down Under, or lost touch with the Calgary growing season. We simply know how that cold and unpredictable northern weather can make growing your own food downright daunting… and we have a solution.

If you’ve been following us for a while, you’ve probably already heard us rave (and rumble) about passive solar greenhouses. We built ours in 2010 and have been reaping the benefits of delicious produce and a cozy shoulder-season sanctuary ever since…

And we’re not the only ones excited about it. Our greenhouse blogs are by far the most popular on our website, and we can hardly keep up with the constant stream of questions from do-it-yourselfers of all levels, itching to nestle up in their own toasty havens.

But up to now, you’d have to sift through long-winded textbooks, attend an intensive 4-day course or travel to… somewhere else… to learn how to design one yourself. So we decided to put our in-depth experience to use and make our lessons available quick, easy and on-the-cheap – online!

Introducing our “Introduction to Passive Solar Greenhouse course – the online edition”!

A fool-proof food supply with snow on the ground – sounds good, doesn’t it? But you may be asking yourself – how exactly is this possible with our chilly, unpredictable northern climate? Well, it all has to do with the design…

What makes passive solar different?

Just like the typical (European-style) greenhouse, passive solar greenhouses can amp up your food production and extend your growing season by harnessing the heat of the sun and protecting from detrimental weather such as hail, frost, and sigh… untimely snow. But passive solar design has added benefits. Specifically created with the North American climate in mind, passive solar greenhouses enhance the intense, direct sunlight and heat from the south while preventing heat loss by insulating the north, east and west sides, and, of course, shedding snow. For us it’s meant three growing seasons instead of one, harvesting home-grown cantaloupe and other hot weather crops we never dreamed of growing in Calgary… and the possibilities continue!

What’s Included?

Learn the principles of passive solar greenhouse design at your own pace, with a video lecture you can watch over and over again. Then work through our step-by-step manual to create your own design!

The Student Dashboard

All materials can be accessed online. You’ll receive access to the student dashboard when you register where you can view and/or download all materials. All you have to do is click on it and voila! – the course materials appear at your finger tips.

The Video

Get started on the right foot with the 36 minute intro video, where Rob explains the basics of passive solar greenhouse design – why we use it, and the simple principles and design considerations you need to know.

The E-Book

Next, delve deeper with the DIY manual. This is the second edition of Rob’s book, newly edited and with more helpful hints – and is now one of our premium Permaculture Design Course materials.

This 52-page e-volume is bursting with Rob’s practical, proven, step-by-step info for planning and building your own passive solar greenhouse. As a mechanical engineer and permaculture design consultant, he’s trained with world-famous experts in the field. He’s distilled that knowledge with his own real-world DIY experience (including mistakes to avoid!). With clear diagrams, easy terminology, and insiders’ tips, he gives all the essentials you need to get started:

· Building Shape · Foundation
· Site Selection · Orientation & Aspect
· Knee-wall Design · Summer Ventilation & Winter Sealing
· Glazing · Light
· Insulation · Thermal Mass & Heating


But don’t wait to get started! If you soak up the principles in the video lecture and act on the step-by-step instructions in the easy, readable manual, you can be on your way toward your own secure, indoor garden – just in time for spring!

Where: Online!

Everything you need can be accessed from the student dashboard, where finding your videos, e-book manual, and more is just a click away. When you register, we email you the student dashboard location and simple instructions for accessing it.

When: All year long!

You will receive unlimited access to the course video for one full year from the date you sign up. The E-book you can download and can keep forever!

(This is just one of the many course materials that you’ll receive as part of Verge’s premium Permaculture Design Certification…one of the features that make this the most information-packed PDC program you’ll find anywhere!)


How Do I Find The Student Dashboard and My Online Materials?

When you register in an E-Course or webinar, you will be prompted to create a login account on our site and will receive an email confirmation with a direct link to our Student Dashboard page.

Alternatively, simply visit the url:

Note that you will be prompted to Login to the website in order to view any material you have access to.

How do I login in to your website and/or re-set my password?

To Login Or Create An Account

To login, hover over the login menu item and select LOGIN if you already have an account, or REGISTER if you need to create one:



Lost your password?

If you’ve lost your password, visit the password reset page.


What do I need (i.e. the technical requirements) in order access / view / stream the E-Course or webinar?

Accessing our E-courses and associated online material is easy. If you’ve played a video on your computer from Youtube or Vimeo before, then you’ve got all you need participate!


  • A desktop or laptop computer
  • An up-to-date internet browser (Internet Explorer 8.0 or above, Firefox 2.0 or above, or Safari 3.0, or Chrome 4.0 or above)
  • Speakers/headphones
  • A broadband internet connection (for a reliable viewing experience at medium quality we recommend a downstream connection speed of at least 400-700 Kbps. You can test your connection speed here)


We use an online platform called Zoom for our live webinars. It is similar to Skype, but simpler. All you need to join (from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android) is to click on a url that we will provide to you on the Student Dashboard.

The full system requirements for the webinars, including operating system requirements, supported tablet /mobile devices, supported browsers, and bandwidth requirements can be found here. (Note that you only need to meet the requirements for “Webinar Attendees” – no camera is required).

Don’t have high speed internet? You can also call in via phone, but note that toll rates may apply.


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