Free Information!

PLEASE NOTE:  This part of the site is still under construction.

In an effort to help create and support vibrant resilient communities, and in the co-beneficial spirit of sharing which makes pursuits like homesteading and gardening so fun and rewarding, we will be posting here any informational or reference materials we've created that we feel would be of benefit to others.

Plans for a Sturdy Passive Solar Greenhouse

We began building our greenhouse in July 2011 and finished basic construction in August of 2012.    We will finish the interior this year.  For our greenhouse, we adapted a design published by the University of Missouri (Anyone planning to build one should start there, as the site has a lot of critical basic information regarding the math and design theory).  

Our design differs from theirs in several significant ways.  We wanted to utilize 16mm triple wall polycarbonate panels instead of greenhouse film.  Our foundation was constructed differently, and our overall method of building, reinforcement and insulation is more robust.  We have also added a number of additional features in and around the greenhouse that we hope will provide additional benefit.  Our hope is that these things taken together will result in a structure that proves useful and long-lived.  Time will tell!

The PDF includes the basic building plans that I had to draw up to get the building approved by our county's Engineering dept for our building permit, augmented with other information relevant to the build.

We opted for a very robust build.  Even as such, this building cost less for us to build than most pole barns of the same size.  This design can be executed in a variety of scales and with a wide variety of materials, to save on cost.

We made a LOT of mistakes and learned a lot during construction of our greenhouse.  There are even some things I might do differently if I had the option to start over.  I've done my best to include all relevant info regarding such matters in the PDF, but please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.  I'll do my best to answer.

You can also find a less-than-scientific photo journal of our progress building our greenhouse at our Flickr page.

(PLEASE NOTE: I am still in the process of compiling this resource.  I will post it when it's complete).

At least one person has built a passive solar greenhouse based in part on our plans.  Friend of the farm Andre in California constructed a smaller verison that turned out very nicely.  You can see pictures of it, and other awesome goings on from around his place at his Flickr page.

Permaculture in Central Ohio - Site Specific References

There have recently been published some excellent resources aimed at utilizing permaculture principles in a more temperate climate, including Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway Edible Forest Gardens by Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier.

In working to develop our own property, we have done a fair bit of research and compiling of information regarding specific species and techniques that are most appropriate for our location.  As our location is likely similar to a good number of others in the Central Ohio area (heavy clay soil, issues with standing water), we would like to make this information freely available in the hopes that it might be useful to others as well.

(PLEASE NOTE: I am still in the process of compiling this resource.  I will post it when it's complete).

All materials posted here are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.  That's a mouthful to read, but the concept is simple.  Please click the link for detailed terms.  If you have any questions about any of this information, please get in touch!