The sustenance greenhouse

I once read an article that started a whole movement in my life. The article talked about helping people to eat all year, no matter the climate in which they lived. The article was from the Benson institute. It told about a greenhouse that could be dug 8 feet underground. Because it is underground it doesn't freeze in the winter, allowing food to be grown all year.

I loved the idea and persuaded my husband to help me build one. As we were building it I learned about aquaponics, It is a form of hydroponics but instead of using fertilizers, fish and their waste water are used to grow the plants.

One day on craigslist I just happened upon a man selling his Tilapia. He had them in a large water tote dug into the ground, we bought them dug them up and drove the four hours home with the whole thing in the back of our truck. And so begun the sustenance greenhouse.

The fish were put into two holes dug in the bottom of the greenhouse that we lined with pond liner. We pump the water from those ponds into more of the water tanks cut in half with clay beads where the plants grow. The clay beads are only to hold the plant in place, the roots grow like crazy all the way to bottom and around the whole bed. The grow beds, even though they are just clay beads, can grow colonies of earth worms.

As I found out after the first winter, tilapia will not survive where I live without heating the water. So, now feeling defeated I closed down my greenhouse.This fall I decided unless I figure out a way around the problems the greenhouse wouldn't help me to have food in the winter if something bad were to happen, which is ridiculous because I have a greenhouse that won't freeze in the winter. So I just started some plants, and for now I will use fertilizer in the water and we'll see what happens. We still have a lot of winter to go now'd be the time to start experimenting. I have piles of ideas, but will any of them work? I can't use anything that will cost a lot of money, that would defeat the purpose. Good thing I love to experiment to see what works and what doesn't. One day I will have things working smoothly. I want that to be before the day when I'm using it because I have to.Next project, solar soda can heater.)