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.