Archive for Build Your Own Green House

Harvesting Potatoes Earlier Than Expected!

 

Growing Potatoes in a Greenhouse can provide you with amazing results.

 

In New Hampshire, we grew redsen potatoes, and a few yellow potatoes, in an unheated greenhouse covered in  Polydress(R)SolaWrap greenhouse film.  The potatoes grew in soil grow beds, however we also have aquaponic grow beds in our greenhouse, as well.  We planted during a blizzard at the end of February.  The plants started off rather slowly, but quickly grew as the days got longer.  We watered them regularly, making sure they got at least an inch of water per week.  The grow beds also drain really well, so the tubers were never able to stay wet for too long, keeping them from rotting.  The foliage looked so healthy and the plants grew so straight that one visitor remarked that they looked fake.  Then the foliage started to weigh the plants down, and they fell over one by one.  By May, they were ready for harvest.  We held off a little, hoping that they would grow just a little bigger.  When we discovered aphids on the leaves, we knew it was time to harvest.

 

We cut the stalks and shook off the aphids over the fish tank.  The fish went wild!  They loved the sweet treat.  Aphids have a melon-like flavor, making them very appealing to both predatory insects and fish.  In an aquaponic system, feeding fish a natural diet can greatly enhance the flavor and nutrient level of the growing food.

 

We left the potatoes in the ground for two more days, allowing them to dry slightly before we harvested.  My toddler, preschooler, and I began to dig and pull the tubers out of the raised beds.  After we harvested 21 pounds of potatoes in our greenhouse, we were wiped out!  So we sent daddy out to dig the rest.  When the rest of the potatoes had been harvested, we had almost 60 lbs of potatoes from a 30 square foot area of raised bed space.

 

The potatoes varied in size.  Some were small “soup potatoes” that I don’t even have to cut up to put in stew.  Some are the size of softballs.  We allowed the potatoes to dry on our counter for a day, then we layered them with paper towels in a cardboard box.  We store them in our basement, which maintains a temperature between 40° and 60°.  Consulting different sources can give you vastly varying temperature ranges for the ideal potato storage.  Some say between 30° and 40°, others between 50° and 60°.  So we figure we are safe with between 40° and 60°, considering that the alternative is to have one giant party with the motherload of potato salad.

 

We are growing another round of potatoes in a different part of the grow bed in the summer.  We are using diatomaceous earth proactively on the leaves and dirt surrounding them.  Last year, in the outside garden, we dealt with colorado potato beetles.  We are hoping to avoid the same scourge of pestilence this year with DE.  Diatomaceous earth is made of crushed diatomes, which are ancient crustaceans.  It is chemically inert, and so cannot hurt your plants, or you and your children.  It’s power lies in it’s physical characteristic: spikes.  The razor spikes of the uneven edges of the diatomes cut the outer layers of soft-bodied pests such as aphids and colorado potato beetle larvae.

 

Unfortunately, we do not have any ladybugs in our greenhouse.  Ladybugs thrive on aphids, and can wipe out populations without any assistance from us.  However, ladybugs are also hurt by DE in their larval stage.  So we feel safe using DE in our greenhouse.

 

We also moved the potatoes to a new bed so we could follow the last crop up with beans.  Potatoes are heavy feeders, meaning they really deplete the soil because of the nutrients they use.  We mixed in compost about six inches deep and then planted beans.  Green beans fix nitrogen into the soil, so following potatoes with beans can help restore lost nutrients.  Our beans are already sprouting.

 

Having a greenhouse has changed the way our family looks at food.  We have learned so much about plants, and the cycles they go through and need.  I love teaching my children about food through hands-on learning.  My kids eat vegetables right off the vine, that’s just how they are being raised.

 

If you are concerned about the quality of the food you are feeding your family, perhaps building your own greenhouse in your back yard is the solution. Don’t try this alone, as for some, there can be challenges. It is more fun to build a greenhouse and grow food together with others; even if you meet online to discuss your project We are here to increase your level of success. Simply join our webinars and ask your questions, see you there!

Hate Paying High Prices For Organic Produce? Do This Instead

If you are like us, and you love the taste of fresh garden vegetables and herbs and hate paying crazy prices at the store for organic produce… this is what we did…now we have amazing fresh vegetables I our back yard all year long.

We decided to grow tomatoes in soil and in aquaponics to see which  method will produce the the most plentiful harvest. Under the sola wrap greenhouse plastic we believe the plants will respond better to their environment than those we will grow in a traditional out door environment.

We are learning about the properties of SolaWrap. So far we were harvesting cherry tomatoes and snap peas in late  April, in New hampshire. Our tomatoes that are  growing in the Aquaponics beds are just taking off.

We will keep you posted with the progress.

I don’t know about you yet,  or where you live, however If you are like us and have to wait until mid summer to  enjoy fresh local produce, just know that that no longer has to be the case. The cool thing with a greenhouse dome covered with solawrap greenhouse plastic is that you do not have to wait till summer in order to enjoy delicious home grown vegetables. Once you eat vegetables that have been nurtured in your own garden, or a garden that has been tended to by some one you know, you will have to agree the taste is completely different that grocery store produce.

Learn more about growing in a greenhouse environment where you can feel confident that the food you eat is safe and delicious year round.  Join our  weekly webinars so you can harvest fresh veggies all year long in your back yard.

 

Greenhouse Plans Can Make or Break Your Project

Clear greenhouse plans

Accurate greenhouse plans

When setting out to build a greenhouse, it is important to consider different greenhouse plans.  There are many different types of plans.

 

Hoop house plans are simple.  Hoops are made by bending metal poles and arranging them to create a tunnel.  This style is cost effective and do not require a lot of skill.  Plans will include dimensions as well as layout, but can easily be adapted to your needs.  If you require a larger or smaller tunnel, you can simply adjust the measurements and continue to build.

Traditional greenhouses come in many styles.  There are gothic greenhouses, with peaked roofs, gutter-connect greenhouses, with several arches, lean-to’s, and a host of other types.  The higher the roof, the more heat will rise.  Traditional greenhouses are more often bought than built, because they are very specific in measurements.  The foundation of a traditional greenhouse must be perfectly level and sound.  Even slight mistakes can have devastating effects if you are using rigid glass or polycarbonate paneling.  Plans must be adhered to with the strictest attention to detail.  There is no “wiggle room” to alter the plans to accommodate your needs.

Geodesic greenhouse dome plans are very precise as well.  The dome structure has a beauty all it’s own.  There is not much variation from one dome to the next.  You can find plans for small domes, with few triangles, about 35.  You can find dome plans that have an uneven bottom.  This can be a roadblock for some, or a fun challenge for others.  Or you can find greenhouse plans for a large dome that has many triangles, about 160.  This can be a daunting task to consider, but once you get the hang of it, the work passes quickly.

Dome greenhouse plans will vary only with the frequency of the dome you decide on.  You can quickly and easily find the simple layout of each dome frequency on a number of dome calculator sites.  To figure out which dome frequency is best for you, decide on what size dome you want.  Up to 18’-20’ can easily be done with a 2V.  This is the simplest dome to construct, with the fewest cuts, struts, and triangles.  A 3V is a very complicated design because of the uneven bottom.  Only those with a background in woodworking and construction should attempt this type of greenhouse plan.  A 4V will cause you much more work, but you have the freedom to build up to a 42’ diameter dome.  This will give you exponentially more space inside.

Whatever type of greenhouse you choose to build, greenhouse plans are an important part of the process, and the more accurate the better.

If you are stuck or confused that is normal, this endeavor is very overwhelming. Join our biweekly webinars ask questions, share what you know. We are here to help.

Sick or Healthy. Which Do You Want to Be?

“The US does not have a health care system; we have a disease-management system.”

                                                                                    – Dr. Andrew Weil, Naturopathic Doctor

Eat More Fresh Vegetables

Eat Fresh Veggies Daily

 

Is our healthcare system seeking to keep people just sick enough to keep then coming back?  Why would doctors want to keep you sick? Aren’t doctors there to make us well?  Do insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device sales companies need us to open your wallet month after month after month to keep their high lifestyles in place?  The doctors do the best with what they have been given in medical school.

 

 

We, the people, we, the patients, need to educate ourselves on WHY this nation is so sick.  75% of money spent on medical care in this country goes toward treating preventable diseases (CNN, Escape Fire).  If these diseases are preventable, why aren’t we preventing them?

Since hunter-gatherer times, human instincts have guided human behavior to seek out and consume as much sugar and fat as possible.  Our bodies recognize these substances as life saving because they can be stored up for times of famine.  This is a great system in a hunter-gatherer world of feast and famine, where the main sources of calories are fresh, “pastured” meat, fish, nuts, seeds, fruit, and fresh veggies (plants).

However, this instinct is alive in a world where preservative laden, months-old grains and refined cane sugar are readily and always available.  We are so removed from our food source that many children don’t even know that fruits and vegetables are grown out of the ground, not produced in a factory.

We are living in A Brave New World, but our Soma is soda and packaged cupcakes and gas station hot dogs.  And we are paying for it with our health.  Education and hard work are the only remedies.  No one will spoon-feed us healthy food that will prevent disease.  We have to grow it, in our backyard, basement garage or spare closet, In pots, on patios, in gardens and in greenhouses and grow tents.

If you have the space in your yard, a greenhouse is the best investment you can make in your health care.  You can control the weather in a greenhouse.  You will get the freshest produce you’ve ever eaten out of your greenhouse.  And you can have that produce year-round.  Greenhouses are beautiful and full of meaning and hope.  Hope for our health.  Gardening for just a few minutes each day has proven to reduce stress and increase tranquility.

And if you want your greenhouse to produce even more for you, start an Aquaponics system inside.  You get endless fresh veggies and fruits and fish.  Depending on the size of your greenhouse and how you cultivate your system, you could live on what your greenhouse produces forever.

Fresh, homegrown food is the answer to America’s “disease-management system.”  Join with us every other week to share your experiences or ask questions. Follow us or email us. Working together is fun and exciting. Together we can do more! Happy harvesting!

Greenhouse Plastic Covering Now Available in USA Proven Success 29 Years in Europe

Polydress SolaWrap Reported to Last Decades Without Yellowing or Cracking

29 years Greenhouse Plastic

Solawrap 29 years Greenhouse Plastic

SolaWrap Poly keder greenhouse covering has proven its success with the greenhouse industry through out Europe for three decades and is now being introduced to the United States. SolaWrap has many unique qualities.  Growers in the Mediterranean have reported tomato crop advancement of three weeks, during the winter months in an unheated greenhouse when compared to standard greenhouse coverings. Its durability and longevity was tested in the extreme heat of Kuwait for a period of 25 years until the outbreak of war destroyed the testing facility. In that 25-year period, the original SolaWrap covering withstood the elements and remained effective. It did not yellow or become brittle or streak.

In New Hampshire, a converse climate where they received above average snow falls this year; a snow load test was performed. 4000 lbs of an 11 ft high pile of snow was placed on top of a 6×6 piece of SolaWrap attached to a frame using the specially engineered interlocking system. No damage was sustained to either the greenhouse plastic or the interlocking system that secured it to the frame.

In Manitoba, Canada, where temperatures drop well below freezing, a trial has been in process for more than five years. The results are very promising. Strawberries are growing in this SolaWrap greenhouse in January, and the only heating occurs at night during the dead of winter.

Another testament to test of durability would be the greenhouses that currently have the original covering still in working condition after 29 years of severe weather, including winds in excess of 100 mph, hail storms, and heavy snow blown blizzards.

In Alaska, while 130mph hurricane force winds where uprooting trees, destroying homes and neighbors standard greenhouses, the Geodesic Dome greenhouse covered with SolaWrap remained damage free.

SolaWrap comprises three layers of polyethylene film that encloses thousands of air bubbles. These air bubbles give SolaWrap a remarkable R-Value of 1.7. They also allow 83% transparency of sunlight while diffusing 83% of the light. This truly is a paradigm shift for the greenhouse industry. Not until now could Americans have the benefits of high light transparency together with high light diffusion in the same greenhouse covering material. With the increased amount of light diffusion plants grow healthier and faster. Normally, in the summer, thousands of dollars are spent on shade cloths, however, in Europe, due to the high diffusion rates; only 10 percent of SolaWrap greenhouses utilize shade cloths.

The flexible nature of SolaWrap allows growers benefit from this highly insulating material year round, where they will require minimal heating from additional sources. SolaWrap can be easily attached to drop down curtain and roll up curtain mechanisms, which allows for great sidewall ventilation. Also, high tunnel or hoop house growers finally have a long term, highly insulated, solution to cover bowed greenhouses.  Because of the long term proven durability there is no more changing their covering every few years! Imagine how this will increase profits over the long term.

More about Greenhouse Dome Kit Co.

Greenhouse Dome Kit Co. manufactures Geodesic greenhouse dome kits with SolaWrap greenhouse plastic covering material Standard and custom sizes range from 10ft to 40ft in diameter. Custom turnkey Greenhouses are available as well. For more information on Polydress SolaWrap Greenhouse material or Geodesic Dome Kits, contact the director of their Greenhouse Dome Kit, Clint Ellsworth at 1-888-883-8429 info@greenhousedomekit.com or visit the website at www.greenhousedomekit.com

 

 

Will we survive? Global food supply 2050- What WE Do Now, to prevent doom

secure food supply now

Secure Food Supply

Will we survive? Global food supply 2050- What WE Do Now, to prevent doom

 

Long-term food security depends upon many variables. One thing that never dawned on me though, was to view the production of the world’s food supply as “ total calorie production”. It made me look at our food supply with a whole different perspective.

 

 Koo, a professor and director of the Center for Agricultural Policy and Trade Studies Director in the NDSU sums it up like this,

“Being able to satisfy the aggregate consumption of calories to lead active and healthy lives (33 trillion calories) to feed the world security is not just a problem for the poor. It will become, increasingly, a problem for everybody.”

After examining Koo’s theory, I had many questions. Research showed me that I was not alone. Millions of concerned individuals worldwide are asking the same questions.

Are there any viable solutions that will meet the growing demands for the arable land required to grow and produce nutrient rich food that we can implement now?

With an increasing population, increased need for housing, increased demand for natural resources, limited clean water, and so on, will Mother Earth be able to accommodate these increasing demands with out suffering severe consequences, if we don’t act now to embrace sustainable options?

Are there any farming technologies available that can remedy the dilemma we are facing with current negative trends that will enhance food quality, safety and security?

What are alternative agricultural practices that have been implemented in areas of the world where similar problems have inflicted devastation and near starvation, that forced nations to discover successful solutions to feed people and farm animals that are processed for food consumption?

What commodities can become sustainable and provide economic profitability?

With population growth inevitable; will the increasing amount of deaths occurring from natural disasters, terrorist attacks, war, iatrogenesis, famine and diseases, instinctively balance things out, thus reducing the need to produce the projected amounts of calories, Koo sites?

Could global warming be contributing to uncertainty in crop and livestock production, adversely impacting the health of humanity and the plant?

What is the reality of increasing price volatility in agricultural products? Will it trigger more starvation?

So many questions, so many concerns; do we have the time to deliver and implement resolutions?

Many people want truthful answers and viable solutions, NOW in order to avoid impending doom, for the children who already live such complicated lives with such challenges, of the likes that we have never experienced before.

 

Sustainable agriculture, along with the rebirth of local family farming will aid the problem enormously. Vertical Hydroponic production for human and animal food

  • Utilizes less water
  • Requires less land
  • 70% of farming will never require arable land
  • Is drought resistant
  • Reduces greenhouse gasses
  • Increases food calorie quality
  • Will benefit to the economy
  • Increase the heath of the nation

 

Implementation of commercial hydroponic systems and production methods has proven to provide solutions to droughts, severe weather conditions, limited arable land and diseased and infested crops.

What is the reality of implementing these proven sustainable local agricultural practices now?

 

Here is what Koo said:

“• Assume that global warming will affect agricultural production negatively. It is important to develop crop varieties that are adaptable under severe weather conditions. In addition, all nations should develop a policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to prevent continuous global warming. This effort should be global rather than regional.

All countries, especially developed countries, should invest in research and development to improve agricultural productivity and make the technology available to developing and food- deficit countries and regions.

It is important to develop a global carryover stock policy to reduce uncertainty in agricultural production stemming from the weather.”

 

 Together we can reverse negative trends and improve agricultural productivity, reduce greenhouse gasses and we can have success regardless of inclement and severe weather conditions. Research has been done; green technologies do exist in parts of the world that had no other choices when it came to providing their population with a healthy food supply. Now is the time for communities to stand together, before the time comes when the food crisis is irreversible.

Home owners can build a greenhouse dome and cover it with Solawap greenhouse plastic  for their back yard.  Schools can build them to teach young people how to be come more self sustaining  while being more friendly to the earth and providing healthier food for their student population. Businesses with cafeterias  or restaurants in cities  can build greenhouses with Solawrap on rooftops. The possibilities are endless. Technologies exist that make agriculture work better and produce more.

Join our community to learn more. Ask questions on our webinars. Contact us if you need help and do not know where to begin.

 

1-781-816-7811
info@greenhousedomekit.com