The first Deep Winter Greenhouse in Minnesota is now open - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

The first Deep Winter Greenhouse in Minnesota is now open

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  • The first Deep Winter Greenhouse in Minnesota is now openMore>>

  • Hands on workshop offered for Deep Winter Greenhouse

    Hands on workshop offered for Deep Winter Greenhouse

    Wednesday, March 15 2017 7:25 PM EDT2017-03-15 23:25:22 GMT

    The Northeast Regional Sustainable Development Partnership and the Organic Consumers Association is hosting an "hands on" workshop for people who want to learn about deep winter greenhouse production. 

    The Northeast Regional Sustainable Development Partnership and the Organic Consumers Association is hosting an "hands on" workshop for people who want to learn about deep winter greenhouse production. 

Finland, MN -

The first winter greenhouse in Minnesota is now open to gardener's in Finland. It's the first of five to be built across the state. 

A Deep Winter Greenhouse was designed at the University of Minnesota with this first one being the prototype. The project is meant as an experiment to see if deep winter growing is sustainable.

"Most greenhouse designs aren't made for winter use really," says greenhouse constructor, Gordon Thorne.

The design is what makes the greenhouse unique.  Four feet of rocks under the greenhouse traps the heat and with the use of vents and fans releases it to warm the plants.  


Thorne says, "You can see the glazing it at a certain angle I believe it's at a 14 degree angle and the sun as it travels around in the winter time, it stays very low and it just comes in. It's different from other greenhouses in that it just has glass on one side and it's insulated."

Deep winter greenhouses are passive solar, low-cost, low-carbon winter food production systems. The community partner for the Finland project is the Organic Consumer Association.


Greenhouse Manager, David Abazs says, "The organic consumer association is kinda the consumer angle into building a sustainable, and just food system."

Using deep winter greenhouse technology will allow farmers that face harsh winters to continue producing high quality fruits and vegetables throughout the year.


Abazs says, " we have micros grains, lettuces, spinach, I've got some kale planted and some Swiss chard"

The University of Minnesota was given a $75,000 grant to help fund all five of the projects. The total cost for the first greenhouse was around $60,000.


"It's a combination of university dollars, extension dollars, sustainable development partnerships and some other outside dollars like from the banking," says Abazs.  

The experimental research is meant to last about a year and a half to two years. Abazs says he believes the University put in an extension request so that way the experiment will last three years. 

The opening of the next greenhouse is tentatively set for September 19 in Bemidji. 

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