The remarkable fact is, although he needed $22,000 to set it up, it costs virtually nothing to keep heated throughout the winter–because the warmth comes from under ground.
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It’s creator, the fascinating Russ Finch, says it is rare to see any successful year-round greenhouses in that part of the country because energy costs are just too high. His building design costs only one dollar a day to operate.
A series of pipes take freezing winter air from outside to eight feet underground, where the earth — at a constant 52-degrees — warms it. Sunlight through the greenhouse’s wall and roof panels heats the air even more, so there is no need for electric or gas heaters.
“To prove the system would work, we knew we had to grow something besides geraniums and roses,” Finch told Harvest Public Media.
So he planted citrus and figs, and produced a healthy crop in the heart of winter.
Finch now boasts the ability to grow “any tropical plant” — even bananas – in his newest design.
(WATCH the video below or READ more at NPR News) — Photos: Harvest Public Media
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