When people want to grow vegetables in the cold climates they will find a way. A trip to the grocery store isn’t getting any cheaper and the kids are getting bigger instead of smaller. A regular greenhouse will only get you so far in the cold months before it has to be insulated. That where an underground greenhouse comes into play. For the same price as your above ground greenhouse you can have one underground that will produce just as many vegetables for you. A walipini is commonly used in South America, Bolivia, and China.
What’s a walipini, it’s a passive solar greenhouse, which includes all of the same sun, but more warmth and insulation from the cold. It’s not like digging a basement, but it is similar to a cellar about 6-8 feet underground with a doorway that leads above ground. The longest area of the structure faces the south and a thick wall of dirt at the back of the building, and a lower front wall provides the opening you need for a plastic insulated sheeting roof. The sun works with the earth to create a warm mass.
Creating an underground greenhouse or walipini works to capture the warmth radiating from the sun providing a well-lit environment for growing vegetables all year long. When the temperature above ground is cold with cold wind outside the plants inside will have the light spectrum the need and the heat to grow.
For more information Benson Institute.
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