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Off Grid Greenhouse After A Cold Winter Night & Homestead Updates

After some very cold winter nights reaching 3 degrees F with blowing wind, I took my camera out to the off grid greenhouse for an update on the plants. And I talk a minute about being snowed in for the weekend at the off grid homestead.

 

We got hit with 8 inches of snow Saturday morning and could not get out of the yard. Now for most people 8 inches of snow it not a big deal. Especially people from Michigan like myself. But most people either have a 4 wd truck or the snow plow comes past their driveway soon after the snow stops falling.

 

But out here at the off grid homestead we have a much different situation. We are about a mile off the last state maintained road. There is about 3/4 mile of private dirt lane and then 1/4 mile of a two track path through the meadows to get to our home in the woods.

 

We had previously had some freezing rain and snow which froze. Then we got 8 inches of fresh snow on top of that. This would stop most vehicles in the first place. But to add to the problem my 2wd truck is a show truck and acts like a hockey puck on snow and ice. I need to get new tires for it, which should help a bit.

 

 

 

My snow blower would not start up this year. I have to fix it. So I ended up shoveling the place out by hand.

 

Inside the greenhouse I expected to see death and destruction all over the place. To my surpsise, most of the plants are doing quite well.

 

Vegetables Growing In Winter Greenhouse

 

We lost the tomatoes first in the season. They are just too sensitive to grow in a winter greenhouse.

 

During the deep freeze my little Mr Heater Buddy could not keep up with the cold and I lost the chili plants. They had been growing so well up until now. I can see that I will be able to extend the growing season at the very least though so this experiment was a great success.

 

The lettuce, kale, swiss chard and peas are doing very well in these conditions. They are actually thriving. If it was not for the mice attacking day and night, eating our food, we would be doing quite well with these plants.

Melanie has harvested some of the flat sugar snap peas already for her stir fry cooking. She is also using the herbs that grow well in our greenhouse this winter.

 

Peas Growing In Winter Greenhouse

 

I use the antique potbelly wood stove water boiler during cloudy and cold winter days. When it goes out the Mr Heater Buddy has to take up the slack. That and the heated 55 gallon drums of water that the wood stove heats up. These act as thermal mass to help radiate heat back into the greenhouse all night.

 

During sunny winter days I do not need any extra heat at all. The sun radiates into the greenhouse and keeps it nice and cozy warm. The temperatures get up to 58 degrees in there with the sun shining.

 

During cold and cloudy winter days I use the wood stove to keep it warm in there.

 

On winter nights that are above freezing I just leave the heat off and everything does just fine.

 

I now also have the curtains that I made recently. At night I close the insulated curtains to retain heat in the greenhouse. During the day I open them back up to let the sunlight in to warm up the greenhouse and provide food for the plants.

 

Homemade Insulating Curtains In Greenhouse

 

This year is mainly an experiment for the off grid winter greenhouse. I figure I will learn what we can grow in there this year. Next year it will be providing us with some nice food all year. And it will give us a huge jump start on the growing season next year. We can save a lot of money and start our own seedlings.

 

I use the greenhouse for a work place for finishing our recycled pallet wood products as well. It is the least dusty place we have on the property which makes it perfect for finishing and varnishing work. I work during the warmer days and let the varnish cure in between coats right there.

 

You can find our reyccled pallet wood products here: Recycled Pallet Products.com

 

You can watch todays video on YouTube here: Winter Greenhouse Update After Intense Cold

 

While you are over there please subscribe to my channel and follow our videos as we strive to become self sufficient and off the grid on a budget.


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Troy Reid

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