NoCo Urban Homestead Tour 2017: #16 Future Plans: Passive Solar Greenhouse

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Our home is like a brick cave. It naturally stays cool for a month or two after the weather gets hot, and stays warm a few weeks after the weather turns cold. After researching passive solar greenhouses I’m excited to see if it can offer us some additional free heat through the winter months, as well as extend our growing season… and I’m pretty sure Jason wouldn’t mind me having my own room where I can keep all the plants that currently fill every surface near every window of the house. Haha!

My current design idea is for a lean-to on the the South face of the house, based partially on Russ Finch’s Citrus in the Snow designs, using geothermal to heat and cool the room as needed using no more power than a box fan. This project definitely won’t begin for several years down the road so meanwhile I’ll use the space for a tea garden. I’d like to add herbs and flowers that can be used to flavor tea and water, as well as make liqueurs from (a rich chocolate mint liqueur is fantastic on ice cream). I’ll mix in some partial shade flowers for a splash of color through the summer months. Currently the only flowers in this bed bloom in April and May and then the bed is blah and wimpy for the rest of the year.

Inside of the greenhouse I’m making plans to add a rocket mass heater for additional sustainable heat – and if I get brave enough I’d like to make a rocket mass heated hot tub. We’ve got to dream big, right??

RMH greenhouse
Click on image to see more examples of rocket mass heaters via Pinterest. Image sourced from Pinterest, original copyright unknown.



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Alanna is a free spirited, techie-turned-entrepreneur starting a new adventure in a vintage cottage with her awesomesauce hubby, sassy cat and a little green flying monster

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