Finland, MN - The first winter greenhouse in Minnesota is now open to gardener's in Finland. It's the first of five to be built across the state.
A Deep Winter Greenhouse was designed at the University of Minnesota with this first one being the prototype. The project is meant as an experiment to see if deep winter growing is sustainable.
"Most greenhouse designs aren't made for winter use really," says greenhouse constructor, Gordon Thorne.
The design is what makes the greenhouse unique. Four feet of rocks under the greenhouse traps the heat and with the use of vents and fans releases it to warm the plants.
Thorne says, "You can see the glazing it at a certain angle I believe it's at a 14 degree angle and the sun as it travels around in the winter time, it stays very low and it just comes in. It's different from other greenhouses in that it just has glass on one side and it's insulated."
Deep winter greenhouses are passive solar, low-cost, low-carbon winter food production systems. The community partner for the Finland project is the Organic Consumer Association.
Greenhouse Manager, David Abazs says, "The organic consumer association is kinda the consumer angle into building a sustainable, and just food system."