Utne Blogs > Environment

A Cool Greenhouse

 by Keith Goetzman


Tags: environment, green living, gardening, greenhouse, produce, local, locavore,

Many green-minded people give lip service to the idea of local produce, but how many of us eat local all winter long? An organic gardener in Vermont is pioneering a new type of greenhouse that might make winter growing more feasible for aspiring locavores by using heated soil.

In its spring issue, Vermont’s Local Banquet magazine pays a visit to Carol Stedman’s greenhouse, where in January “the air temperature inside was only slightly higher than outside … but a thermometer stuck deep in the dirt read a balmy 60 degrees.” Stedman uses tubes to circulate warm water through the soil, a system she calls “radiant dirt heating.” Her can-do attitude and experimental spirit might just get you started on planning and designing your own “cool greenhouse” for next winter.

 

 

heidi girl
6/6/2008 11:18:01 PM

This could be really beneficial. I'm in an apartment so I don't have room for a garden but I'd be interested in this if people could continue to grow here all winter long and sell at an indoor farmer's market. I'd certainly support local vendors if they chose to undertake a venture like this. Better yet, with the price of groceries skyrocketing, I'd like to see apartment buildings adopt a greenhouse and let tenants share in the growing and maintenance. I realize there would be a nightmare of red tape to unravel but I'd be supportive of the idea.