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There is something about a good building project at a low price that gets the blood pumping! Underground greenhouses are incredible because they work off principles that are unchanging.
So much so that greenhouses just like these would have been used in colonial America. You might see them in a smaller fashion as well. When we talk about self-sufficiency having the ability to grow all year long in a space that will maintain temperature is a crucial option to have at your disposal.
In Colonial Williamsburg, you can see these small in-ground greenhouses at work. They are very impressive little builds. Some technologies never go out of style and when it comes to personal food production, that’s a big deal.
There is some serious back work in making one of these. You will have to do some digging. Or you could get the help of modern equipment.
Either way, you are looking at creating a greenhouse that will not need to be heated over the cold winter and will allow you to grow food at any time during the year.
If you are legitimately trying to go for this you are going to need some instruction. Keep scrolling for a free PDF on building a walipini.
One of the main principles involves embedding the greenhouse in the earth to take advantage of the earth’s constant temperature, to store the solar energy collected during the day.
Water barrels can also be used to store the thermal heat and carry it through the night or cloudy days (which are not as cold). Water is a much better thermal mass storage mechanism than soil.
This is perfect for us preppers and hardcore gardeners. I would also take advantage of this and maybe install an aquaponics system in this space too or a small fishery.
The solar gain comes through a light-permeable material such as plastic, Visqueen, polycarbonate. The angle of the panels is designed to be 90-degrees to the Winter Solstice sun (Dec. 21 / June 21, depending on the hemisphere).
The upper portions of the walls are insulated down past the frost line.
All Year Food Growing
Growing all-year-round means that you are going to be harvesting and canning all year. Be prepared for this.
Growing food all year long is often so hard to achieve that people don’t concern themselves with the things that happen next.
One big thing is that you are going to need a tremendous amount of space to store all of that canned food. In a matter of 4 months, you are completely overrun by the few plants you have in your backyard. Now imagine pushing that amount of food through your doors 365 days a year.
You better have a plan!