Low Input, Energy Efficient Greenhouse Construction Workshop Suitable for Northeastern Ohio
Ted & Molly Bartlett of Hiram, OH received a 2000 SARE grant to increase the vegetable production in Northeast Ohio by building an energy efficient greenhouse which would provide a favorable environment for the vegetables and lengthen their growing season.
The objectives of this grant were to not only build an energy efficient greenhouse, but do so in manner that would be very beneficial to others in the area as well. This would include providing clear documentation of the construction process in order to create an instruction manual on the greenhouse. The project was also designed to enhance and strengthen the network of local vegetable farmers in the region and lengthen the distribution season for the Silver Creek Farm.
Steve Moore presented a two day workshop on September 1, 2000 that discussed and demonstrated how to select a site, the optimum greenhouse size and design, as well as the proper drainage and solar orientation for the greenhouse. The greenhouse was then built and ready for planting by the fall of 2001. Mesclun salad mix, romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, perennial arugula, beets and parsley were a few of the crops that were seeded that fall.
In the fall of 2002 they hosted an open house for anyone interested in the production of the greenhouse. Students from a Montessori Farm School attended the open house to gather information in order to construct a similar greenhouse at their school. Overall they were pleased with the results that they received from their project. Their CSA is now in its fourteenth season and is the oldest and longest running CSA in Ohio. As a result of having the solar greenhouse they planned to begin the distribution of their vegetables at the end of April, which is six weeks earlier that normal.