Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Build a $300 underground greenhouse for year-round gardening (Video)

Build a $300 underground greenhouse for year-round gardening (Video) Build a $300 underground greenhouse for year-round gardening (Video) Kimberley Mok Kimberley Mok (@kimberleymok) Design / Green Architecture February 22, 2013 Share on Facebook Walipini © Neo-farms Growers in colder climates often utilize various approaches to extend the growing season or to give their crops a boost, whether it's coldframes, hoop houses or greenhouses. Greenhouses are usually glazed structures, but are typically expensive to construct and heat throughout the winter. A much more affordable and effective alternative to glass greenhouses is the walipini (an Aymara Indian word for a "place of warmth"), also known as an underground or pit greenhouse. First developed over 20 years ago for the cold mountainous regions of South America, this method allows growers to maintain a productive garden year-round, even in the coldest of climates. Here's a video tour of a walipini that shows what a basic version of this earth-sheltered solar greenhouse looks like inside: How a Walipini works and how to build one Walipini © Benson Institute It's a pretty intriguing set-up that combines the principles of passive solar heating with earth-sheltered building. But how to make one? From American sustainable agriculture non-profit Benson Institute comes this enlightening manual on how a walipini works, and how to build it: The Walipini utilizes nature’s resources to provide a warm, stable, well-lit environment for year-round vegetable production. Locating the growing area 6’ to 8’ underground and capturing and storing daytime solar radiation are the most important principles in building a successful Walipini. The Walipini, in simplest terms, is a rectangular hole in the ground 6 ‛ to 8’ deep covered by plastic sheeting. The longest area of the rectangle faces the winter sun -- to the north in the Southern Hemisphere and to the south in the Northern Hemisphere. A thick wall of rammed earth at the back of the building and a much lower wall at the front provide the needed angle for the plastic sheet roof. This roof seals the hole, provides an insulating airspace between the two layers of plastic (a sheet on the top and another on the bottom of the roof/poles) and allows the sun's rays to penetrate creating a warm, stable environment for plant growth. walipini SilverThunder/via This earth-sheltered greenhouse taps into the thermal mass of the earth, so that much less energy is needed to heat up the walipini's interior than an aboveground greenhouse. Of course, there are precautions to take in waterproofing, drainage and ventilating the walipini, while aligning it properly to the sun -- which the manual covers in detail. Best of all, according to the Benson Institute, their 20-foot by 74-foot walipni field model out in La Paz cost around $250 to $300 only, thanks to the use of free labour provided by owners and neighbours, and the use of cheaper materials like plastic ultraviolet (UV) protective sheeting and PVC piping. Cheap but effective, the underground greenhouse is a great way for growers to produce food year-round in colder climates. More over at the Benson Institute and the Pure Energy Systems Wiki. Related on TreeHugger.com: Midwestern geothermal greenhouse provides local citrus year round for $1 a day Couple surrounds eco-home with greenhouse to keep it warm (Video) 3 easy DIY greenhouses for under $300 Icelandic turf houses are old-school green with a Viking twist (photos) Tags: Agriculture | Do It Yourself | Food Security | Gardening | video FACEBOOK TWITTER GOOGLE+ PINTEREST 288 Comments TreeHugger.com Login 1 Recommend 42 Share Sort by Newest Avatar Join the discussion… Avatar Angelliqus Darka • 25 days ago In the Nederlands it's nemed a cold kas. The ground gifts 4 celsius. But in the picture, it veel good. 1 • Reply•Share › Avatar ☠ expect resistance ✪ • 2 months ago Wow amazing! 1 • Reply•Share › Avatar Lucio Bovolini • 3 months ago Can we build it on our roof? is the foil is UV-protected? • Reply•Share › Avatar mzungu • 3 months ago Once you dig that far down, there is no soil, but rocks and gravel. The man power needed to dig such holes is pretty $$, that's why most house are above ground. :P Try these instead. http://www.lowtechmagazine.com... • Reply•Share › Avatar sharon sampson • 3 months ago Another HUGE problem I am seeing is the drainage. They have created a 'Perched Water Table'...kinda upside down but people do this all the time in their POTS or container gardens. Here is the basic idea: LARGE pore spaces (of gravel or rocks) below a layer with teensy tiny pore spaces. In order for the water to drain into the large pore spaces of the rock and/or gravel the teensy pore spaces have to be completely saturated before any drainage occurs. NOT GOOD. Never put rock in the bottom of a pot under the soil. The soil has to become SATURATED before any movement of the water into the gravel occurs. And that is just too much water that drains too slowly...they need a herringbone drainage with perforated drain pipe covered with 'landscape fabric'...most importantly a slope of the floor of subsoil...using as little gravels/drain rock as possible to assist water to gather around the p pipe to be taken away. I'd hate to see this type of greenhouse in a huge rainstorm...around here it would be a swimming pool. • Reply•Share › Avatar mesagoat • 4 months ago the kid is the cutest thing about this video • Reply•Share › Avatar Spaghetti • 4 months ago If you go through the heat gain and loss calculations correctly for temperate climates you'll see that you need to store 'all' of the excess summer heat in the ground/water tanks storage and release this slowly through the winter in order to avoid freezing. If you look at the top diagram carefully the answer lies there. Roof is at 90° to WINTER SOLSTICE angle. No problem with snow as the roof in temperate zones is so steep, in fact so steep it might just as well be vertical which is why walipinis don't work in most temperate areas. There are some wonderful architectural examples done at cost no object, but look at true performance carefully. • Reply•Share › Avatar Harley Daws Spaghetti • 19 days ago works for us !! solar wall is at 22 degree slope.... • Reply•Share › Avatar Catbeller • 5 months ago Why not just build a home like that? • Reply•Share › Avatar Harley Daws Catbeller • 19 days ago a friend has his walpini attached to the southwest side of the house; it also helps heat the house; veggies, dates, grapes, thrive • Reply•Share › Avatar Kool3reeze • 5 months ago "plastic ultraviolet (UV) protective sheeting" that seems counter productive for a greenhouse. am I missing something? • Reply•Share › Avatar Diana McCandless Kool3reeze • 3 months ago The UV protection makes the plastic last longer, not break down in the sun, and also helps prevent scorch on the plants & cell damage. Plants don't prefer UV light, they prefer Red light and Deep Blue light, because those are 2 wavelengths at which the Chlorophylls jump energy states. Since the plants absorb the Red and blue, none of the Red and deep blue light is reflected, just the rejected "green" part in the middle of the light spectrum. 1 • Reply•Share › Avatar RT Kool3reeze • 5 months ago The foil is UV-protected (UV resistant, UV stabilized), so it does let through the UV-rays for the plants. I think. • Reply•Share › Avatar GLeeK • 5 months ago Hey TheOneWhoMakesThingsRun Do you even get out of bed in the mornings. You could slip on a banana peel ya know. Just stay in bed where it's nice and safe. • Reply•Share › Avatar TheOneWhoMakesThingsRun GLeeK • 5 months ago You obviously have no idea what a proper trenching or digging site looks like or how deadly this can be. You should really do even basic research before criticizing someone. But maybe you like to put yourself and loved ones in danger. Tell you what go up to the next construction crew you see digging a ditch more than even waste deep see if they think its not important that proper shoring and setbacks be done. Give you a hint, a cave in happens in the blink of an eye and you are crushed with tons of dirt and rock. You cannot breathe, lots of times your head is covered too, and even if they can dig you out it is very likely you will not survive and if you do you most likely will never be able to work again. Crushing injuries are one of the most deadly and damaging. 1 • Reply•Share › Avatar Tyson TheOneWhoMakesThingsRun • 5 months ago I agree that you should have proper research for trench angles and know what type of ground you have. But it looks like the ends of the trench have a brick wall of some form so he's covered there, the slopes look half decent, they don't have to be regulation. If its firm ground those slopes may never move, you don't need shoring for 95 percent of trenchs, trust me i have my tickets for trench building and worked for years in trenchs. We have even had flash rains while working and it fills the trenches to the top with water but they don't generally just collapse if its solid ground, not to say its not impossible. If you want this as a long term solution it can't hurt to have a little bit of shoring but that can be left till it shows some signs of weakening. Or if you find you have an ingrained stream running in part of it, you should definitely shore around that part of it but its not needing for the whole area. Really the best thing you could do for it is to have a gutter system on your roof to direct the rainfall down and away from the building or have it so the water runs into a holding tank inside. I think this could be a great greenhouse to have pending its built properly. Some heating system would be required where i live though. • Reply•Share › Avatar Mike GLeeK • 5 months ago Look up trench collapse and trench rescue. Trench collapse is especially a problem in areas with significant seasonal changes. • Reply•Share › Avatar Frederick Douglass Mike • 5 months ago So you don't follow proper safety procedures when digging. • Reply•Share › Avatar Mike Frederick Douglass • 5 months ago The point is that it doesn't appear that the makers of this video did. There was a recent rescue in the area where I work because a trench was left unsecured and the homeowner became trapped in it. Trenches can be unsafe and deadly if not performed properly. • Reply•Share › Avatar TheOneWhoMakesThingsRun • 5 months ago This is actually a very dangerous video. Improper shoring of the walls or sloping of them can and will result in cave in. Many people are killed and injured every year because of a ditch cave in. I am not saying you cannot build one of these but rather without proper knowledge you are asking for trouble and possible life threating injury. Do not let it being wide fool you it can suddenly slip in just the same. 2 • Reply•Share › Avatar MyParentsKid TheOneWhoMakesThingsRun • 5 months ago Actually it depends a lot on the composition of the dirt... He is right though a dirt can "slough" and any walls above ground should be added past the "slough" line which is basically a 45 degree angle from the lowest point of the dig. 1 • Reply•Share › Avatar Carol Zangla • 5 months ago Seems to me a rigid plexiglass roof would be needed to support snow. 3 • Reply•Share › Avatar kacky • 5 months ago Great use for an old cellar hole • Reply•Share › Avatar Patrick M Mitchell • 6 months ago How do they get around the lack of wind and insect pollination? 1 • Reply•Share › Avatar CaptainAmerica69 Patrick M Mitchell • 5 months ago Usually bumble bees • Reply•Share › Avatar Frederick Douglass • 9 months ago So a big thermal mass and really good insulation and you can build it on your roof. • Reply•Share › Avatar Christopher Solesbee Frederick Douglass • 6 months ago And a very well supported roof to support the amount of dirt you'd have to bring up, including water/produce weight 1 • Reply•Share › Avatar Frederick Douglass Christopher Solesbee • 6 months ago I don't build down to code. 1 • Reply•Share › Avatar MyParentsKid Frederick Douglass • 5 months ago A lot of dead people have said that... 1 • Reply•Share › Avatar Frederick Douglass MyParentsKid • 5 months ago Well their are liars that build below code and say it is better but I never had my work fail an inspection because I build stronger then code requires. 2 • Reply•Share › Avatar jabwocky Frederick Douglass • 5 months ago I agree, many build below code, I am in the architectural plan business, I see failures are the time, I too build over code... • Reply•Share › Avatar Paul Harris • 9 months ago Any experience in using one of these in a hot climate desert such as the Southern California Palm Springs area? I'm thinking in mid-summer could it provide a cooler temperature for growing crops? 2 • Reply•Share › Avatar Christopher Solesbee Paul Harris • 6 months ago Make it in reverse since Socal doesn't deal with frost winters. Plus active automatic venting would help immensely • Reply•Share › Avatar Francesco Delvillani • 9 months ago What's the temperature you can have inside if outside there are 10F ? 2 • Reply•Share › Avatar CandideThirtythree • 10 months ago This is cool but would not work at all in Louisiana, dig 2 feet down and you hit water. Can't even have in ground pools here because they explode from the water underneath pushing them up. Not that it ever gets very cold here anyway but we are moving to Colorado where cold will be an issue. There I think the issue will be how far down you can dig before you hit rock. The arroyo at the back of the property is about 30 feet high or deep however you describe it and it looks like almost perfectly square stones in layers all the way up. I can only imagine that is what we will find as we dig down too. Maybe it would work if it was just half down and half above? 2 • Reply•Share › Avatar Melissa Therrien CandideThirtythree • 4 months ago This might help: http://www.resilience.org/stor... That way you wouldn't have to dig into the ground but you can still have a garden by method of a fruit wall. Pretty interesting stuff. • Reply•Share › Avatar Doug • a year ago Interesting project, terrible video! It is grainy and full of wind noises, then he impolitely tells "Todd" (his kid) to not bother him, and then farts!?! I couldn't watch any more.. 2 • Reply•Share › Avatar Common Sense • a year ago Does anyone know how well these will cope in a temperate climate? Cool to cold winters with a fair amount of rain? Looking for real world examples with design and materials used. • Reply•Share › Avatar thoomfoote Common Sense • 7 months ago I am building a partial earth sheltered in eastern Washington, zone 6a. It should take my growing season into December and allow me to start in late Feb. As well as temp, light intensity and duration are two other key elements. • Reply•Share › Avatar Vincent Wolf • a year ago Just pour a typical basement foundation with slab and insulate it well and then cover it up with glass, plexiglass or plastic to capture the suns warmth. Nothing new there or here. 1 • Reply•Share › Avatar Bill • a year ago Add to this a rocket mass heater, as depicted here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?..., and you have yourself a very nice growing space. • Reply•Share › Avatar Sherry Jones • a year ago When farming it's always a good idea to let a field lay fallow every few years to allow the soil nutrients to replenish. Does the same principle apply with the walipini? • Reply•Share › Avatar Richard Gray Sherry Jones • 5 months ago Rotate crops and bring in composted materials. Acutally, adding compost would help to raise the temperature inside the wallipini. • Reply•Share › Avatar bloodyheck • a year ago I live in OH, and as it is now, my (95 year old) house's basement, sits on top of the water table by scant inches, there is always 6-8" of water in the sump even if it hasn't rained for weeks (rarely happens) how do I dig down and avoid water, or after a rain have it not turn into an in-ground swimming pool? • Reply•Share › Avatar Sherry Hively- Powell bloodyheck • 5 months ago Build it in a slant or hillside & it sounds as if you have a spring under your home or very close in proximity to you foundation • Reply•Share › Avatar mary • a year ago In the northern third of NM optimum south facing greenhouse windows are at 70 degree angle. A pit below that is an intriguing idea. I have a lot of patio doors and 20, 10ft sheets of UV greenhouse clear sheets. Worth a try. And a pit is cheaper to dig than building an above group structure. • Reply•Share › Avatar Wolfsbane • a year ago This reminds me of the concepts in Mike Oehler's The $50 & Up Underground House Book http://www.undergroundhousing.... 1 • Reply•Share › Avatar Trevor • a year ago So this works well in the Winter? I'm in Central WI and REALLY want to build this, but I want to make sure there is enough sunlight for good growth in the winter. • Reply•Share › Avatar BeholdersEye • a year ago Is it a building or hole in ground? I say, hole in ground, no property tax or permits need apply.... • Reply•Share › − Avatar jack_k1 • a year ago We get about 180 inches of snow each winter, and the temps get down to as low as -40 C with a frost depth of 2m or more. Can you recommend a design for this sort of weather? • Reply•Share › Load more comments Powered by Disqus Subscribe Add Disqus to your site Privacy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hV8Teiskfo&list=PL5b0hZQBbi3bAuJDkWIqPs-kcqOCddI9-&index=7 http://gardening.streamshare.com/posts/6051

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