Thursday, June 3, 2010

Upcycled, Recycled, Homemade Greenhouse

The Greenhabilitator shows off her homemade greenhouse...


It isn't pretty (yet) but it's mine. And it could very well be the precursor to us building our own earthship out of recycled materials in the middle of the woods somewhere...one day.

With summer comes Super Uncle who is a visionary and handy-man extraordinaire. He comes out here to Colorado in the summer to escape the heat in Florida and to provide the skill (and motivation) we lack in completing our home improvement projects.

Last spring, he and Mr. Greenhab built the greenhouse seen above. Most of the wood was leftover from previous projects. The windows came from a neighbor who bought them at a yard sale in hopes of building his own greenhouse, which never happened. The doors on the side were once on our house, but we replaced them with a higher rated French door.

Unfortunately, the ventilation wasn't quite enough and it was hitting up to 145 degrees. This year we've added a box fan and another vent and we're experimenting with some night time heating. Here are some other features I'm excited about...

The Trough

Once upon a time this black metal was part of an ugly railing in our house. Super Uncle took it out two years ago to build something more aesthetically pleasing, but kept it just in case.


He cut it up and built a metal frame...



for a trough...


in which to place plants...


A small amount of water is placed in the trough so that the plants have a constant source of water and don't dry out. (And Mr. Greenhab doesn't have to go out and water them twice a day.)

We used an old section of gate that was in our barn as a trellis for beans to grow up...


This cabinet was in our kitchen before we remodeled it a few years ago...


A blind from Freecycle for plants that might not need full sun...


And a bookshelf we picked up for free, turned on its side for storage...




Once the inside was functional, Super Uncle and Mr. Greenhab started on a fence for the outside...with a few little helpers. We didn't have enough existing materials to make the fence, so we ended up purchasing that part at Home Depot.

We're planning to grow some of the things that are undesirable to deer and rabbits inside the fence like onions, garlic and some herbs. They'll be planted around the perimeter, then potatoes and a few other things further inside. Hopefully the animals won't go further than the stinky garlic and onions. I guess you could say that this is an experimental growing season for us.

Eventually the greenhouse will be painted green to blend in with the scenery and the fence will be stained a darker color. And even though it doesn't look like an expensive, professional greenhouse, I'm okay with that. It was made with blood, sweat and recycled materials and that's what makes me most proud.

11 comments:

EnviRambo said...

I am in awe and green with envy! I want a greenhouse B.A.D. I love the ingenuity and creativity that went into building yours. Mr. Greenhab deserves a big pat on the back. Bravo!

Kathryn Grace said...

My first thought, on seeing all that shiny glass flanked by what appears to be redwood was, "Gorgeous!" What do you mean it doesn't look like an expensive, professional green house? It looks architect-designed! Love all the recycled bits throughout. Charming, useful, delightful. I didn't know beans would produce in a greenhouse, especially with a solid wall behind, so eager to see the next image of them filling that trellis.

Congrats all round for a beautiful job.

panamamama said...

I agree, I think it's beautiful! Totally awesome job to Mr. Greenhab!

Green Bean said...

Whoa! Very very cool.

Kim in Milwaukee said...

That so DOES look like a professionally designed greenhouse! Wow, thank you for sharing your innovations, it's giving me tons to think about, especially that brilliant trough idea!!! Very Very Cool!

Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

So so cool!

Surviving and thriving on pennies said...

wishing i had one!

concretenprimroses said...

Your green house is fabulous!
I'm jealous too, as I've always wanted one.
About heating - years ago I went to a home greenhouse that had two big clear plastic pillars, maybe 18 inches in diameter, flled with water. The sun heated the water and the heat was released for a long time in the evening and night. The owner, my retired eye doctor who had a Christmas tree farm on his land, had invited me in to warm up on a cold, well under freezing, Dec. day after I'd trudged through the snow looking for the right tree. It was hot in that greenhouse (it WAS attached to the house so that helped obviously). But Dr. A. said he was sure the house gained from the heat released by the pillars.
Just thought I'd share, cuz I always thought I'd do that in my greenhouse.
(they were also kind of beautiful)
Kathy

Simply Authentic said...

Incredibly neat! Love all the photos and explanations of the different parts. And how wonderful that the uncle comes up each summer to help--it must be rewarding for him to help and being down in louisiana myself, definitely allows him to beat the humidity! :) Love it..

Daisy said...

This is fabulous. I am also green with envy!

Lisa Sharp said...

I LOVE IT! Please build me one. :)

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