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  • Writer's pictureSheng Vue Yaj

Thought: Will a permaculture greenhouse produce year round in Wisconsin?

A permaculture greenhouse can produce year-round in Wisconsin, but it will depend on several factors such as the design of the greenhouse, the type of crops grown, and the management practices used.


In Wisconsin, the winter months can be very cold and dark, which can make it challenging to grow crops in an outdoor garden. However, a permaculture greenhouse can provide a controlled environment that can extend the growing season and allow for year-round production.

To ensure year-round production in a permaculture greenhouse in Wisconsin, it is important to consider the following:


1. Design: The greenhouse should be designed to capture as much sunlight as possible during the winter months. This can be achieved by orienting the greenhouse to face south and using materials that allow for maximum light penetration.


2. Heating: The greenhouse will need to be heated during the winter months to maintain a suitable growing temperature. This can be achieved through passive solar heating, using a wood stove, or using a geothermal system.


3. Crops: The crops grown in the greenhouse should be selected based on their ability to tolerate cold temperatures and low light conditions. Some crops that are well-suited for winter production in Wisconsin include kale, spinach, lettuce, and herbs.


4. Management: Proper management practices such as crop rotation, soil fertility management, and pest control will be important to ensure healthy plant growth and high yields.

Overall, with proper planning and management, a permaculture greenhouse can produce year-round in Wisconsin.

 

Thought: Can I strategically plant along the walls of the green house to naturally insulate?


This is a technique known as "passive solar greenhouse design" and it can help to regulate the temperature inside the greenhouse by providing additional insulation.

Here are some plants that can be used for natural insulation:


1. Climbing vines: Climbing vines such as grapes, kiwi, and passionfruit can be trained to grow up the walls of the greenhouse. The leaves and stems of the vines will create a layer of insulation that can help to regulate the temperature inside the greenhouse.


2. Evergreen shrubs: Evergreen shrubs such as boxwood, holly, and yew can be planted along the walls of the greenhouse to provide year-round insulation. These plants will retain their leaves throughout the winter months, providing a layer of insulation against the cold.


3. Perennial grasses: Perennial grasses such as switchgrass and miscanthus can be planted along the walls of the greenhouse to provide insulation. These grasses grow tall and dense, creating a layer of insulation that can help to regulate the temperature inside the greenhouse.


When planting along the walls of the greenhouse, it is important to leave enough space between the plants and the walls to allow for air circulation. This will help to prevent moisture buildup and mold growth. Additionally, it is important to choose plants that are well-suited for the growing conditions inside the greenhouse, including light levels and temperature.


 

Thought: Can it feed about 200 people?


To build a greenhouse that can feed 200 people, you will need to consider several factors such as the size of the greenhouse, the crops grown, and the management practices used. Here are some general guidelines to consider:

1. Size: The size of the greenhouse will depend on the number of crops you plan to grow and the space required for each crop. As a general rule, you will need approximately 200 square feet of growing space per person to provide a diverse and nutritious diet. This means that a greenhouse that can feed 200 people will need to be at least 40,000 square feet.

2. Crops: The crops grown in the greenhouse should be selected based on their nutritional value, yield, and ability to grow in a greenhouse environment. Some crops that are well-suited for greenhouse production include tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, lettuce, and herbs.

3. Management: Proper management practices such as crop rotation, soil fertility management, and pest control will be important to ensure healthy plant growth and high yields. Additionally, you will need to consider the ongoing costs associated with maintaining the greenhouse such as heating, cooling, and irrigation.

4. Design: The greenhouse should be designed to capture as much sunlight as possible and to provide adequate ventilation to prevent moisture buildup and mold growth. Additionally, you may want to consider incorporating passive solar heating and cooling systems to reduce energy costs.

The cost of a greenhouse that can feed 200 people will depend on several factors such as the size, materials used, and features included. As a general rule, a greenhouse of this size can cost between $50,000 and $200,000 or more. It is important to work with a greenhouse designer and builder to ensure that the greenhouse is designed to meet your specific needs and budget.






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