Most people think it is impossible to grow vegetables in the middle of “deep winter” and assume a greenhouse will yield more electric bills and less produce. That is no longer the case. Farmers from Northern Minnesota have discovered a way to make an affordable, energy efficient greenhouse, allowing you to garden and harvest vegetables year round without breaking the bank.
The plants subsist mostly on natural winter light with fans forcing the the rising heat into a rock storage area. This consistent solar heating system captures the day’s warmth and releases it at night. On particularly cold nights, a gas heater kicks in to generate a temperature of 42 degrees. No banks or artificial lights are needed.
This unique kind of greenhouse, which mixes veteran ingenuity and new technology, allows you to create an energy efficient winter farm that is both affordable and plentiful.
Advantages To Winter Greenhouse Farming:
- Reduce grocery bill: In the depths of winter grocery stores jack up prices on vegetables and fruit. With your own greenhouse you can grow vegetables such as kale, lettuce, cabbage, even tomatoes. Now you can cut down on your grocery bill and still enjoy delicious fresh greens everyday.
- Profit from your greenhouse: You can sell or trade your produce at a competitive price making a return on your greenhouse investment and eventually a profit. Since the greenhouse is fairly simple to maintain and run you can continue to harvest every winter and generate an additional seasonal income.
- Use year round: During the summer months you can use the greenhouse to dehydrate fruits. Dried fruits offer high fiber and are rich in antioxidants which make them delicious and healthy. You may also use the greenhouse for special summer treats like sun-dried tomatoes.
For more information on how to budget and build your perfect winter greenhouse we recommend the book The Northlands Winter Greenhouse Manual.