GreenHouse Prototype

   You can see the design has changed a bit from the model. It is wider - 48 feet instead of 32 and it has the growing area in front of the house only, not on the top.  

Floor Plan 

   Most people make fun of my tiny bed/office rooms which measure only 7.5 x 7.5 feet.  There is a countertop that wraps around the entire perimeter and gives you a continuous desk with three corners for computer monitors, and other equipment.  Most corners in rooms are wasted.  I consider this the *ultimate* work area.  It has closet space below the desk, library shelves above and two 7.5 foot bunk beds above that!  Talk about space utilization!  Less materials used for construction and less area to light and heat!
   The center room is a "home theater" deluxe with an 11 foot wide screen!  The circular table is 6 feet in diameter and the circular sofa which seats up to 9 people projects into the greehouse grow area with a single piece 12 foot by 4 foot high plexiglass circular bay window.  What a place to entertain!  HiDef projector is above the table and a 7.1 surround system with subwoofer provides a better audio experience that you are going to get in a theatre!

Framing  - February 2004

Putting Up the Bows for the Grow Area March 2004.  House area is 16 x 48 or 768 square feet and the grow area is the same size.  

Not Yet Finished, but the First Experimental Crops are Coming In in Half the GreenHouse

 

Plants from Inside the grow area. May 20, 2004

 

Water on the floor is from the misters which have now been replaced with foggers - which really can fog up the place! I am a bit disappointed in the temperature drop.  Atlanta is humid so that works against cooling potential of the fogging system. I will work on ventilation with additional fans and see how things develop. It IS EXPERIMENTAL!  so learning what works and what doesn't work is what it is all about!  

Photos 6/15/2004

You can see less than a month made quite a bit of difference! Note most of the beans have made it 16 feet to the top of the greenhouse!  Lower third of the nearest pots is broccoli and I have already harvested some of the lettuce.   I nibbled on them for over a week before I took the whole plants.

 

Cucumber - The second one which I will probably eat with tomorrow's freshly harvested salad. YUM!  (Note Wilted Cucumbers in front of my thumb. This was caused by way too much water in the GreenHouse due to the misters setting them up for mildew!  Now bear in mind, this is my first attempt at growing more than a potted houseplant! Turns out mildew is a type of mold or fungi, which is actually a parasitic plant lacking chlorophyll , leaves, or true stems or roots and reproducing by spores.   (per a web search)   Interventions which are safe on edible plants are copper sprays, sulfur, ozone among others. Of course you want to reduce the situations that led to the problem.  I went to a fogger and will install a humidistat to turn it off before things get too wet. Improving air circulation will also help.

This is Grand Central Station.  There are two 15 gallon tanks which house Calcium Nitrate on the left and the 5-10-25 NPK blue solution on the right which also has the micronutrients.  This is a "One Pass" system where the two fertilizer injectors above the tanks add about 1 gallon of nutrient from each tank per 128 gallons of water applied to the plants. This is a very dilute solution and there is almost no waste.  Because the nutrients are not recycled there is no monitoring of when the old nutrient needs to get dumped!  MUCH!  fewer headaches than the older hydroponic systems. There are no special pumps and no pumps, other than the one that runs my well to fail.  Water pressure alone powers the injectors and delivers the mixture to the plants over very small irrigation drippers.   
   You can see the booster pump beneath the sink that jacks the water pressure up to 1,000 psi to run the fogging system.  Little or no water on the floor with this arrangement.   All of this is "under construction" in these photos and the sink will be finished with ceramic tile, and who knows.... I may even put tile on the greenhouse floor! 

Two cantaloupes with *many* more on the way!

Kentucky Wonder - An incredibly prolific plant!  I think beans are one of the fastest growing plants I have seen! Lettuce comes in close, but on a "calories per square foot" basis, I think beans have them topped! With their shelf life they would be one of the primary crops I would recommend cultivating to feed the starving in the world.

 More Crop Pictures     Problems and Lessons Page