Expand the limits of your growing season and grow your crop options
when you learn to design and build your own greenhouse
that’s powered by the heat of the sun!
In this video series (with 3+hours of professional footage), engineer & ecologist Rob Avis travels over 500 kms from the Canadian Rockies to the Alberta prairies to visit five different Passive Solar greenhouses (PSGHs). He shares learnings and provides commentary on what has worked well, and not so well from a design and growing perspective.
Four Season Community PSGH in the Canadian Rockies: The Groundswell Network Society greenhouse is run by a not-for-profit and operates year around in the Canadian Rockies with no supplemental heating. We’ll take you on a tour of this impressive facility, and discusses it’s innovative technology and set up.
An 800 sqft High School Geodesic PSGH: We explore how this High School in the Alberta prairies heats their dome-shaped greenhouse with a Climate Battery – a subterranean heating & cooling system that warms the soil and circulates the air. They grow fish in an aquaponics system among other things (such as bananas!).
PSGH Connected to Private Residence in Invermere, British Columbia: We interviewed the owner of this brand new high-performance residence and discuss the benefits and challenges of attaching a greenhouse to the building walls of his home, the unique glazing he chose to use as well as ways of harvesting energy from the home to keep this greenhouse in production even when it is minus 20 degrees outside!
Verge Permaculture’s 200 sqft Detached Urban PSGH: In this two part, extended video, Rob speaks candidly about the design successes and flaws of his own urban greenhouse. Michelle also talks about the rewards and challenges of growing in an enclosed environment.
Successful and Profitable Microgreens Operation PSGH: Curtis Stone, Author of The Urban Farmer, talks about the 900 sqft greenhouse he owns and operates in his backyard where he produces $50,000 per year in product, with the ability to expand to up to $300k per year.
Rob Answers Questions Such As….
- What are some tested and true design principles for these styles of greenhouses?
- What are some glazing options & how do I set the glazing angle?
- Once I’ve captured the sun’s warmth in my greenhouse, what are some ways to keep it there?
- How can I heat my greenhouse for minimal (or zero) energy costs?
- What do I need to consider if I’d like to connect my greenhouse to my house? How do I do it properly?
And also discusses…
- What works (and doesn’t!) when it comes to ventilation
- General design considerations such as optimizing the glazing angle
- Unique and innovative ways to capture and store heat (including four different types of solar energy collection and two types of thermal energy storage)
- How to harvest waste energy and turn it into a resource for your greenhouse
- The benefits of growing directly in the soil / subsoil vs raised and disconnected garden beds
- What kind of opportunities and challenges exist when it comes to greenhouse growing