Welcome, and thank you for the possibility of winning a sickle. A certain luddite attitude means I love hand tools, and having planted small amounts of barley and oats this spring, I'm very interested.
Reading through this thread, I'm relieved to see some discussion about the angle of the summer sun and the earthen roof / overhang.
Up here (north of 60), I need a well-insulated greenhouse but I also need to take advantage of all the sunlight I can. The frost-free season is very brief (sometimes only 90 days) and any plant which needs to come to fruit needs to do it in a short window.
I don't have any solutions to propose, but just a keen knowledge that I won't be putting a ton of energy into a greenhouse with that much of an overhang.
If you're thinking about stretch goals, I'd love to see some plans without the earthen roof. This far north, putting a roof on it like that would mean my greenhouse is shaded from May to August, because the sun is so far north in the sky.
Well done, you guys! I am excited to see this project unfold.
With respect to the video, I watched it once and the message isn't clear. Is this a project about greywater reclamation or about a better greenhouse? Or, as a commentator mentioned above, are you just looking for approval to run the kickstarter?
From what I've seen in the threads, there's a lot of interest in this kickstarter. I'm not sure you need further approval to run it.
If it's both greywater management and greenhouse design, my sense is that it took too long to articulate a simple problem (greywater management) and didn't give enough attention to the proposed solution (an Oehler-style greenhouse). I'd like to hear more about the reasons an Oehler greenhouse deserves attention from Wheaton labs at this point (it's nice that you like experimenting, but it would be more interesting to compare the Oehler-style greenhouse with other models), what directions you're going in for design improvements (longer than a quick mention, anyway), who might be involved in conducting the experiment, and what outcomes you anticipate at this time.
If the project is more about developing and improving Oehler's design for an earth-sheltered greenhouse, why are you introducing it with the greywater issue? It will be useful enough just to have a good greenhouse design that, for me, you don't need to introduce the project as a solution to a problem with greywater management. I'd still like to hear more about those four areas I mentioned in the last sentence of the paragraph above.
If the project is about greywater management, maybe it would be helpful to touch on a wider range of solutions, including but not limited to the Oehler-style greenhouse.
If I need to watch the video more than once to understand your project and the 'ask', I don't think it's an effective video. Sorry.
An Oehler-style pit greenhouse is what I've been dreaming of, as it promises a huge extension on the northern growing season. If you guys do a bunch of work to improve that already-superb design, I am happy to support it financially.
Chris Sturgeon wrote:Hi El.
I'm a member of the Yukon Bee Club. I suggest you check out our web page. If you do the Facebook thing, then the club's founder, Etienne, does an amazing job of recoding and sharing his knowledge through the bee club Facebook group.
He usually puts on courses in the Spring, out at the Mt Lorne Community Centre.
Mary-Ellen Zands wrote:For up in Whitehorse I would suggest you look into tree beekeeping. Much thicker walls. Warmer hives in winter. As long as you can protect them from the cold and from the conventional farmers in the area. You don’t want any spray going your way. I think you are much safer up north. You can protect your hives better from glyphosate. Plant lots of flowers!
Hm, thank you for this. There aren't that many larger deciduous trees up here to section and use (or coniferous ones); the trees around Whitehorse were all logged a century ago to feed the paddle-wheelers of the Klondike gold rush and, well, they grow back really slowly. But it's an interesting idea.
Frank Spezzano wrote:EL, South facing and earth sheltered? Maybe. I went with Phil Chandler's eco-floor on my top bars (mesh bottom filled with forest debris). Not sure if you could do that up north, or how the interior temp/humidity would be affected.
Earth-sheltered is an interesting idea. I'm already figuring out how to install an Oehler-style inground greenhouse, and maybe something with bees can happen alongside.
Douglas Alpenstock wrote:Greetings from balmy Zone 3b.
I have no specific advice, but I'll add a vote of confidence: from what I've seen, a Yukoner routinely figures out ways to make something work, especially when everybody else says it's impossible. It's in the DNA.
I'm hoping to start a few colonies next spring (yep, planning faaaar ahead), but conditions in the sub-Arctic are very different from balmy southern Ontario.
I'm planning to go with the top-bar hive again.
Any suggestions for supporting the bees in this environment? There is a conventional hive at the nearby community garden, but the colony is lost. Other than that, there don't seem to be many beekeepers up here.
Before we moved north, my remaining colony died. I am looking forward to having more bees soon and anticipate that adapting the principles articulated in your book can help me address the challenges of sub-arctic beekeeping.
Replying to that sad photo of baked earth and desiccating plants: there's no ground cover and all the moisture in the soil is evaporating. In this instance, I'd mulch like crazy and only leave a breathing hole around the stalk of the plant.
We're looking at homesteading in the north (Yukon Territory, Canada), and the soil here is the sandiest, most porous earth I've encountered. Sometimes there is between 2 - 5 inches of soil before hitting straight sand. There are a few methods of building up soil that I know (the biodynamic preparations, a good working compost heap or three, top-dressing with deciduous twigs and hay), but I thought it might be a good idea to open it up.
Does anyone have any suggestions for building up soils in the north?
The permafrost line is north of my area and moving pole-ward every year; I don't think that will be an issue. I will have to look into the nature of liquefying soils, though, as I can't say whether or not that's what is in my valley from looking at it.
Thank you guys very much. I'm going to return to this thread when I've digested your comments , and I appreciate the time you gave to sharing your knowledge.