The Year-Round Solar Greenhouse: How to Design and Build a Net-Zero Energy Greenhouse

New Society Publishers
2
Free sample

Build your own passive solar greenhouse for year-round food production in any climate

Fresh, local nutrient-dense fruits vegetables are hard to find in winter in cold climates. Growing warm-weather crops like tomatoes, bananas, avocados, and other perennials is nearly impossible using conventional structures. The solution for millions of backyard and small-scale commercial growers is self-heating solar greenhouses.

The Year-round Solar Greenhouse is the one-stop guide to designing and building greenhouses that harness and store energy from the sun to create naturally heated, lush growing environments even in the depths of winter, covering principles of solar greenhouse design and siting, glazing material properties and selection, controlling heat loss, ventilation, and construction methods. Additionally, an in-depth section covers sustainable ways of heating the greenhouse without fossil fuels, including using thermal mass and storing heat underground with a ground to air heat exchanger.

Variations include attached solar greenhouses, earth sheltered greenhouses, plus integrating hydroponics and aquaponics. More than a dozen case studies from across North America provide inspiration and demonstrate specific challenges and solutions for growing year-round in any climate.

Grow your own food, anytime, anywhere using the power of the sun!

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About the author

Lindsey Schiller studied conventional greenhouse design and management at the University of Arizona's Controlled Environmental Agriculture Center before delving deeply into solar greenhouse design. With co-author Marc Plinke, she founded Ceres Greenhouse Solutions to research, design and build energy-efficient year-round greenhouses. Lindsey has designed, toured and helped build hundreds of energy-efficient greenhouses spanning small residential structures to acre-size commercial facilities.

Marc Plinke , an inventor-innovator with a PhD in engineering, started his career as a chemical and process engineer working for Gore Technologies. He later retrofitted his family's 1950's Boulder, CO ranch home into a net-zero-energy home, spurring a second career in green building design. Marc has spent the past decade applying his expertise in green building and engineering mindset to building better greenhouses, with the intention of enabling people to grow their own food sustainably, year-round.

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Additional Information

Publisher
New Society Publishers
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Published on
Oct 1, 2016
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9781550926187
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Language
English
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Genres
Architecture / Sustainability & Green Design
Gardening / Greenhouses
House & Home / Do-It-Yourself / General
Science / Life Sciences / Botany
Science / Life Sciences / Horticulture
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This content is DRM protected.
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Tells the entire story of humankind’s use of solar energy, reaching all the way back 6,000 years to stone age China and then bringing the story all the way up to now. The only book in existence that attempts to tell the entire story of humankind’s more than 6,000 year use of solar energy. Most people think of solar power as being a 20th century invention. Few know that the first photovoltaic cells joined the grid on a New York City rooftop in 1881; or that engineers in France used solar power to run steam engines in 1860s; or that in 1901 an ostrich farmer in Southern California used a solar engine with a massive 33-1/2 foot mirrored dish to irrigate 300 acres of trees by pumping 1,400 gallons of water every minute from a reservoir using nothing but the power of the sun. And these are just a few of the incredible stories that will be told in the book. Author John Perlin began telling this story in 1980 with the first edition of their book A Golden Thread, which then went back 2,500 years and covered up through the late 70s. The book sold 55,000 copies and received rave reviews, with the reviewer for The Los Angeles Times calling it a “humbling book” and a “rich mine of information.” The New York Times called it “A clear and evocative account of the 2,500-year history of a technology – solar energy – that many people thought was a purely 20th century development” and The Washington Post gave the book an even stronger review calling it a “careful, thoughtful” book that touches on “an awesome range of solar uses and issues.” Lester Brown, Founder of the Worldwatch institute has said, “A Golden Thread has become a classic” and a contributor to the popular energy blog “The Oil Drum” wrote that it is “like The Prize but from a solar perspective.”
Choosing locally grown organic food is a sustainable living trend that’s taken hold throughout North America. Celebrated farming expert Eliot Coleman helped start this movement with The New Organic Grower published 20 years ago. He continues to lead the way, pushing the limits of the harvest season while working his world-renowned organic farm in Harborside, Maine.

Now, with his long-awaited new book, The Winter Harvest Handbook, anyone can have access to his hard-won experience. Gardeners and farmers can use the innovative, highly successful methods Coleman describes in this comprehensive handbook to raise crops throughout the coldest of winters.

Building on the techniques that hundreds of thousands of farmers and gardeners adopted from The New Organic Grower and Four-Season Harvest, this new book focuses on growing produce of unparalleled freshness and quality in customized unheated or, in some cases, minimally heated, movable plastic greenhouses.

Coleman offers clear, concise details on greenhouse construction and maintenance, planting schedules, crop management, harvesting practices, and even marketing methods in this complete, meticulous, and illustrated guide. Readers have access to all the techniques that have proven to produce higher-quality crops on Coleman’s own farm.

His painstaking research and experimentation with more than 30 different crops will be valuable to small farmers, homesteaders, and experienced home gardeners who seek to expand their production seasons.

A passionate advocate for the revival of small-scale sustainable farming, Coleman provides a practical model for supplying fresh, locally grown produce during the winter season, even in climates where conventional wisdom says it “just can’t be done.”

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