Greenhouse Dreaming

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Of all the projects we’d like to tackle, Bill and I have decided to start with a greenhouse. Growing our own food is something we’ve always enjoyed doing, but the house we live in now is so small, we have absolutely no room for starts or pots of any kind. And living in the high desert of northern New Mexico means one has to come up with solutions to extend our very short growing season.

When we first decided to build a greenhouse, a geodesic dome was in the forefront of our thinking. We’ve always wanted to try one and they’re a fairly common style for greenhouses, but they can get hot in the summer. And cold in the winter. So we’ve decided to go subterranean. We’re thinking that this will help regulate temperature. The plan is to dig down about 4 feet, install an earth bag wall around the perimeter of the hole and attach a 6 foot high dome to the top of that wall. This will give us 10′ height in the interior, but the above ground height will be much lower, making it easier to maintain.

Our first step was to clear the land. We’ve already had to dig a ton of chamisa out of our land – and our greenhouse site was no different. Then we marked the dig site and called 811 for a dig permit. Now that we’ve done that, we’ve started the hole, which is 15′ in diameter. It will probably take us a while to dig it out by hand, and we’ve unfortunately been delayed by weather. Because I’m not doing to dig when it’s 30-something and snowing! It’s making me antsy, though. Now that we’ve started, I’m really looking forward to our first alternative building project!

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