Monday, March 14, 2011

Green House Goodness

Now that I have an exhaust fan working in the green house, coupled with the advent of warmer weather  growth has perked right up. The green house is heated with a wood heater and small electric heater during the coldest days and over night. A 1000 watts of HID lighting provides not only light but considerable heat also.  The problem is regulation. If the sun comes out, even briefly, the temperatures can soar.  And I thought the problem would be heating!  Adding a temperature regulated exhaust fan keeps the temperature at what ever I set it at.  Right now it's 32C. But it averages lower than that. The inside is approximately 16 degrees above ambient, without heating, and no sun. I've logged a 56 degree difference with heating.  I will augment the exhaust fan with an intake one to increase ventilation efficiency.  Six 45 gallon drums painted black, filled with water gather the heat and release it during colder periods. Coupled with the thermal mass of the soil filled tires, the combination moderates the temperature significantly.  I still don't have thermal shades hanging -  to slow the heat loss at night, maybe today.

Time for some more salads! Even the tomatoes have started to flower again and produce.  I may be working at odds with myself trying to grow both warm  and cool weather crops in the same room, but it seems to be working. I am planting Chinese cabbage in the bare tire. The lighting is a combination of natural, Metal Halide and High Pressure Sodium, so it looks a little weird in the picture. HPS  is not a flattering light for photographs.
This crop of Spinach is already going to seed!  Time to stagger the crops to ensure a regular harvest.  We never have a problem of too much Spinach - the Chickens are crazy for it. Summer or Winter.

There are some signs of a spring that it is sure taking the long way round getting here. I saw a dirt patch on Savory road the other day. On a South facing hill with the sun shining.  The gas line warning signs are sticking out of the snow so it's only about three feet thick now and melting. And the place is covered in pet hair..

 Ah well,  at least this year we won't have to go in search of dandelion greens to satisfy the fresh salad urge that comes after a long winter.

Today's chores include whacking up the weeks wood, hanging thermal shades in the green house and moving a freezer load of dog bones to a smaller one so we have room for 520 pounds of Pork and Pork products we pick up from the butcher today.

We're on the lookout for a couple of heritage pigs, like Red Wattles, to start the process again.

Hope your having a great week.

2 comments:

Charles Gomes said...

Green house is exact place for retirement. Even,green energy apparatus is also good for low electric budget. So, Whole House Fans or Attic Fans are the best suitable option for such house.

Donna OShaughnessy said...

I do so hope you find some Red Wattles ! They are friendly and kind, fast growing and resilient ,cute and cuddly and oh yeah TASTY ! Have you tried contacting the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy yet ? They may know of RW up your way http://www.albc-usa.org/