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The Year-Round Solar Greenhouse (PDF)
How to Design and Build a Net-Zero Energy Greenhouse
Fresh, local nutrient-dense fruits vegetables are hard to find in winter in cold climates. Growing warm-weather crops like tomatoes, bananas, avocados, and other perennials is nearly impossible using conventional structures. The solution for millions of backyard and small-scale commercial growers is self-heating solar greenhouses.
The Year-round Solar Greenhouse is the one-stop guide to designing and building greenhouses that harness and store energy from the sun to create naturally heated, lush growing environments even in the depths of winter, covering principles of solar greenhouse design and siting, glazing material properties and selection, controlling heat loss, ventilation, and construction methods. Additionally, an in-depth section covers sustainable ways of heating the greenhouse without fossil fuels, including using thermal mass and storing heat underground with a ground to air heat exchanger.
Variations include attached solar greenhouses, earth sheltered greenhouses, plus integrating hydroponics and aquaponics. More than a dozen case studies from across North America provide inspiration and demonstrate specific challenges and solutions for growing year-round in any climate.
Grow your own food, anytime, anywhere using the power of the sun!
Lindsey Schiller studied conventional greenhouse design and management at the University of Arizona's Controlled Environmental Agriculture Center before delving deeply into solar greenhouse design. With co-author Marc Plinke, she founded Ceres Greenhouse Solutions to research, design and build energy-efficient year-round greenhouses. Lindsey has designed, toured and helped build hundreds of energy-efficient greenhouses spanning small residential structures to acre-size commercial facilities.
Marc Plinke, an inventor-innovator with a PhD in engineering, started his career as a chemical and process engineer working for Gore Technologies. He later retrofitted his family's 1950's Boulder, CO ranch home into a net-zero-energy home, spurring a second career in green building design. Marc has spent the past decade applying his expertise in green building and engineering mindset to building better greenhouses, with the intention of enabling people to grow their own food sustainably, year-round.
"Particularly for aquaponics growers, solar greenhouse design is a nobrainer. Schiller and Plinke have created a practical, easy to read guide that enables anyone to design and build their own sustainable, yearround greenhouse. I highly recommend it for aquaponic growers, and any gardener looking to extend their season."
Sylvia Bernstein, author, Aquaponic Gardening
"Schiller's book is an important resource that will help farmers and greenhouse operators leverage innovation for sustainable and profitable food production. I believe that agricultural innovation for economic and ecological sustainability is the most important opportunity facing humanity, and this book should be part of your tool kit."
Gaelan Brown, author, The Compost-Powered Water Heater
"Year-round food production in the emerging post carbon society will require solar greenhouses at many scales. Whether an attached home greenhouse or large commercial bioshelter, successful long term food production in these bio-structures requires artful design, careful planning, quality construction and carefully integrated systems of light, heat, ventilation and well managed growing spaces. Lindsey Schiller and Marc Plinke have provided an essential tool to ensure success in all these areas. This book is extensively researched, written with personal experience and full of essential facts and figures rendered simple and accessible."
Darrell E. Frey, author, The Bioshelter Market Garden
"The Year-Round Solar Greenhouse is an invaluable primer for anyone looking to grow their own food year-round without fossil fuels. The science and methods are well explained, meticulously documented, and easy to understand. A great resource."
Dan Chiras, author, Power from the Sun, Chinese Greenhouses, and The Homeowner's Guide to Renewable Energy
"Well researched and thorough, it's a contribution of her effort to convey to us all the information on the subject. The author is educated and writes in a manner easily understood, and to the point. She has done us all a favor with this book. Each chapter ends with a summary "takeaways" that gives extra reading references, books, CD's etc. covering all related topics for whatever your particular need may be. What you need to learn about solar green houses you WILL find by starting with this book."
Leslie Jackson, co-author, Rocket Mass Heaters
Planning and Growing to Feed Ourselves and the Earth
Growing Nutrient-Dense Food
America's Original Grain from Seed to Plate
A New Approach for your Home and Garden
Design and Manage a Home-Scale Perennial Polyculture Garden