Google+

The Green Underground

The Green Underground

~ Samantha Lewis

Greenhouses are a lot of fun for both the homeowner and grower out there. They look unique, they serve a huge purpose when it comes to ecology, growing food, maintaining flowers, using solar energy to increase growth, and helping to save the soil. In fact, the list of benefits a greenhouse brings to both you and the world is a really long one. But green is not only for aboveground. In fact, underground greenhouses are becoming all the rage, and are super cool to build.

walipini-2

When it comes to cold climates, there are growers who utilize all types of greenhouses to increase the time of their growing seasons and boost the crops they need to produce. There are coldframes, hoop houses—tons of choices where greenhouses are concerned. But, as with anything else, money comes into play.

 

The mammoth structures that most are familiar with when thinking about greenhouses are usually extremely costly to build; not to mention, the high costs of attempting to keep the structures heated when Old Man Winter comes along. But one of the most popular greenhouses that takes care of the worries, completely affordable and extremely beneficial, is called a Walipini, which comes from the Aymara Indian word for a “place of warmth.” THIS is the underground greenhouse.

 

It was over two decades ago in a truly freezing cold region of South America, that the underground greenhouse came to be a part of everyday life. Up in the mountains, the underground greenhouse was a huge resource that allowed growers to have a productive garden all year long, no matter how many feet of snow fell on them.

 

And building your own Walipini is a whole lot of fun. By taking the resources that nature and the earth already provide, the underground greenhouse provides a warm, well-lit and completely stable environment to produce vegetables. And to begin construction, all that needs to be done is to locate a growing area 6’- 8’ underground that can capture daytime solar radiation and store it.

0de31c90d4e933be8a7f790d3cd1b98f

A rectangular hole in the ground dug 6’ to 8’ deep is covered by plastic sheeting, with the longest area of the rectangle facing toward the winter sun. Using a thick wall of packed earth at the back of the building, a lower wall is created at the front; with one short and the other high, a perfect angle is made for the plastic sheet roof that seals the hole in the ground, and provides an insulating airspace between the two layers of plastic. The two layers come from a sheet on the top and another on the bottom of the roof/poles, which allow the rays of the sun to penetrate and create that warm and stable environment to always have plant growth.

 

It is not a far out idea. After all, the earth is a true greenhouse already, and the grower can tap into the thermal mass of the earth by growing in an underground greenhouse. Less energy is needed to keep the Walipini’s interior heated, which saves massive bucks, instead of attempting to heat that aboveground greenhouse and watching your savings account decline rapidly. Waterproofing, drainage, and ventilation – these are the three things to keep in mind when building the Walipini, so make sure it is properly aligned with the sun while building to avoid any problems later on.

 

For anyone who is interested in bringing the idea to their own backyard, Walipini field models, as well as construction manuals, can be found from various places on the Internet. A place called the Benson Institute even has a 20-foot by 74-foot Walipini field model located in La Paz – a total cost of less than $300 to create.

 

Kind to the wallet and extremely efficient, it doesn’t take long to realize that the Walipini is the only way to grow.

Entertainment

Spectacular Disaster Flick Depicts Real-Life Events Surrounding BP Oil Spill

  Deepwater Horizon Film Review by Kam Williams Spectacular Disaster Flick Depicts Real-Life Events Surrounding BP Oil Spill On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, located 41 miles off the coast of Louisiana, exploded when high-pressure methane gas blew out the drill pipe. 11 members of the crew perished in the ensuing fiery inferno which engulfed the platform. The accident also caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history, with over 200 million … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

Richards Rocks!

  Sandra L. Richards The “Rice & Rocks” Interview with Kam Williams Richards Rocks! The American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, Sandra L. Richards is the author of “Rice & Rocks.” She hopes that her debut picture book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity. Sandra completed both her undergraduate and graduate studies at Seton Hall … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

ART EXHIBITION: 150 Years After The Civil War

  Cynthia Groya 150 Years After The Civil War: A Contemporary Perspective January 10 - March 6, 2016 Artist's Reception: Sunday, January 24, 3:00 - 5:00 pm Nassau Club 6 Mercer Street  Princeton, NJ 08540 The ideas reflected in Groya's paintings express a conversation about struggle for equal rights in our culture, in our time. The origin of this struggle can be traced to The Civil War in our country, which ended 150 years ago. The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Castles in America

  Castles in America by Amy Lignor   Robin Leach and his “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” taught us all long ago that we absolutely love to sit and view ridiculous luxury (usually owned by people who inherited all of it and didn’t work a day in their lives). See that? We had to complain about something as we were beguiled by the amount of money people would send to own or create the “best of the best.” Even though some things were referred to as the “gaudiest of … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

Richards Rocks!

  Sandra L. Richards The “Rice & Rocks” Interview with Kam Williams Richards Rocks! The American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, Sandra L. Richards is the author of “Rice & Rocks.” She hopes that her debut picture book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity. Sandra completed both her undergraduate and graduate studies at Seton Hall … [Read More it Good for You...]

Outdoors

Apex Gear ACCU•STRIKE XS Series Bow Sights

  Apex Gear ACCU•STRIKE XS Series Bow Sights By Brad Fenson As an avid bowhunter, I’m always looking for a sight to not only help me acquire a target accurately and quickly but provide adjustability while being lightweight. It might be a lot to ask for but with a wide array of hunting situations, you have to be selective in your equipment to ensure you are always successful in the long run. The Apex Gear ACCU•STRIKE™ XS was obviously designed for an active hunter. I … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

There Are Superheroes Among Us

  There Are Superheroes Among Us by Amy Lignor   This story truly proves that a superhero does not require a cape, tights, or the ability to fly. In a world where all headlines seem to be centered around who shot who, who is being put upon, who’s “getting away with it” – all the way to who is getting divorced and who may or may not be kneeling at NFL games – negative stories seem to be the only ones covered anymore by the media. Does the American populace … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

2016 Brings About Layoffs to a Variety of Industries

  2016 Brings About Layoffs to a Variety of Industries by Amy Lignor   From tobacco to alcohol, with brand names that have incurred huge amounts of cash during their long-term years in business, layoffs have still been announced at a rapid pace in 2016. Even from those companies that have increased their profits.   Altria is one with a very large brand name. Its cornerstone brand, Marlboro, has brought about retail sales that have grown higher for the fourth … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Spotting the Wild Animal in the U.S. of A.

  Spotting the Wild Animal in the U.S. of A. by Amy Lignor   There are many camping spots, zoos, parks, and outdoor paradises across the globe; locales where wild animals roam and humans can get close to these amazing creatures. One of the most beautiful and talked about lies near Canterbury, Kent in the United Kingdom. Opened as a private zoo in 1957, this odd collection is known by many for being one of the most unorthodox. Breeding rare and endangered species, … [Read More its Good for You...]

Google+