If you’re interested in a winter vegetable garden in Minnesota or any other cold climate, you may think that it can’t be done. Don’t say “can’t” to Liz Belina. Anton Adamec has written an article about Liz and her determination to plant and harvest vegetables through the winter in her home state of Minnesota. Four years ago, Liz decided to do what she need to do to have a winter vegetable garden in Minnesota.
. . . four years ago, Belina was inspired to continue gardening in the winter months and knew that she could only accomplish this with a greenhouse. “It was on my bucket list to have a greenhouse,” shared Belina, who started building her greenhouse according to “The Northlands Winter Greenhouse Manual,” a do-it-yourself instruction book by Carol Ford and Chuck Waibel from Milan, Minn. She has been producing greens and vegetables in the winter ever since.
Anton writes about how Liz constructed her greenhouse, and it seems that Liz has done it right. She put together the 16 X 15 foot greenhouse by herself in the summer of 2008. She is able to produce two to three pounds of vegetables from her greenhouse every week, and in the summer months, she increases the produce to six pounds. She has provided about 600 pounds of food from her outdoor garden and greenhouse to the local school and the local food shelf during the year. Anton gives the reader some information about how Liz’s greenhouse is constructed. I especially like the way she has heated the ground in which her plants grow.
Most of Belina’s plants are able to withstand temperatures in the mid-40s. However, she still uses germinating mats for seedlings she has just started, which contributes additional heat. The main source of heat is through a system of corrugated drain tile underneath the soil. Using an in-line fan, Belina draws hot air close to the ceiling down a PVC pipe that goes into the ground and breaks off into a corrugated drain tile system underneath the soil. As the warm air escapes from the drain tile it heats up a layer of river wash rocks. The rocks lie beneath two feet of soil, which is separated by a layer of fabric that prevents the soil from mixing with the rocks.
Liz decries the fact that so few people are growing the amount of food that could be produced by using a winter greenhouse. She believes that a lot of the need for good food could be provided by greenhouses like the one she has built. If you can have a winter vegetable garden in Minnesota, you can just about have one anywhere. You should read Anton’s article, because there is much more valuable information in it about Liz’s greenhouse than I am able to curate here. Read the article by clicking here or on the link below. Do you have a secret dream of building a greenhouse? Maybe reading this article about Liz’s success will inspire you. Let us know, and “Like” us on Facebook.