How To Build an Earth-Sheltered Greenhouse


| 12/6/2013 9:19:00 AM


Tags: greenhouses, natural building, recycled materials, New York, Susanna Raeven,

I had a dream once. - I am standing in a vast green summer field looking down into the earth. The ground is a large glass roof in the shape of a cross. I can see tropical plants and seedlings flourish in the warm, light flooded space beneath. There is a sacredness to the space that is breathtaking. - I woke up and remembered both the beauty and impossibility of the vivid dream. Plants growing happily underneath the earth? Can't be.

I met my farmer friend Verena a few weeks later and my dream came up during a conversation. She said, “Yeah, it's called an earth-bermed greenhouse. You can build such a thing and it's been done before.” Really? Well then, I thought, let's make a dream come true.

It took me a while to find the person who was willing to embark on the adventure with me. My friend Jesse, a natural builder who is always on the lookout for new territories to explore, gave in to the calling.

What was supposed to take a couple of months at the most turned into a year long journey, as he ended up not only building a practical and functioning earth-sheltered greenhouse, but a piece of green architecture that feels and looks like the sacred space I dreamed about three years earlier.

We used the basic building plans from Mike Oehler's book The Earth Sheltered Greenhouse for the layout and material list.



An earth-bermed greenhouse is best build into an already existing South facing hill with full sun exposure. We started clearing shrubs and fallen trees from an area close to the house matching these conditions and decided on a 16x16 foot growing space. Oehlers's plans include digging out a 3-4 foot deep “cold sink “ at the South side of the greenhouse. A space that is designed to allow cold air to settle into at night, rather than hovering over your tender seedling that are growing in the work space.

www.EasyWoodwork.org
5/4/2018 10:21:40 PM

I built my own greenhouse using the plans at www.EasyWoodwork.org - highly recommended you check those out too. They are detailed and super easy to read and understand unlike several others I found online. The amount of plans there is mind-boggling... there's like 16,000 plans or something like that for tons of different projects. Definitely enough to keep me busy with projects for many more years to come haha www.EasyWoodwork.org


www.EasyWoodwork.org
5/4/2018 9:46:27 PM

I built a sheltered greenhouse using the plans at www.EasyWoodwork.org - highly recommended you check those out too. They are detailed and super easy to read and understand unlike several others I found online. The amount of plans there is mind-boggling... there's like 16,000 plans or something like that for tons of different projects. Definitely enough to keep me busy with projects for many more years to come haha www.EasyWoodwork.org


www.EasyWoodwork.org
5/4/2018 9:41:31 PM

I built a sheltered greenhouse using the plans at www.EasyWoodwork.org - highly recommended you check those out too. They are detailed and super easy to read and understand unlike several others I found online. The amount of plans there is mind-boggling... there's like 16,000 plans or something like that for tons of different projects. Definitely enough to keep me busy with projects for many more years to come haha www.EasyWoodwork.org







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