Tag Archives: structure

The greenhouse in below-zero weather

8 Dec

It is a chilly one here in Northfield, MN. After a fairly warm November and December, we’re settling into the seasonal norm of well below 20 degrees F. We were incredibly interested to see how well the greenhouse did on a sunny morning with an outside air temperature of -2 F.

Guesses? Guesses?

The greenhouse is a whopping 28 degrees, which is 30 degrees warmer than the outside air temperature. We don’t know whether or not to attribute this fact to the amount of sun we’ve got or the insulative layer of snow on the sides. Either way, we’re incredibly pleased!


Learn: How much does a greenhouse cost?

3 Dec

The greenhouse in the fair afternoon light.

“So, this project is cool and everything…but how much did it cost you?”

People ask us this question all the time. “All the time” meaning “every time we take anyone through the greenhouse or even mention it”. Heck, one of the most frequently used search terms for this blog is “greenhouse cost estimate”.

“How much does it cost” is a legitimate question, and one that needs answering. But if you’re reading this in hopes of putting up your own, remember…the factors for each project will be totally unique.

So here’s our little breakdown.

  • Structure: retail $3250; after education discount $2900. From Poly-Tex, Inc.
  • Conditional Use Permit and Variance: $1550, excluding refunded escrow. From City of Northfield
  • Building Permit: $160, from City of Northfield
  • Farmer-in-Residence: $4000; oversaw student labor in building the greenhouse, plus will help with planting, etc.
  • Various Components (door latches, extension cords, etc): $50, approximately.

So the total cost for puttingĀ  up our greenhouse was $8660, but keep in mind that this was paid for with $6000 worth of grants. We ended up having to only raise $2400 for the rest of the greenhouse, which isn’t bad at all.

So, how much do you think your greenhouse will cost?

Check it out…more publicity!

23 Nov


You guys should definitely check out this article about us…it’s pretty spiffy, plus it has a video and photo gallery.

We’re just about to let out of school for Thanksgiving break, so I’m afraid I’m just going to have to throw the link and run. Oh yeah. And add a photo.

Here it is!

Construction Log – Friday, 15 October

18 Oct
  • Finished driving the ground stakes into the ground. The 2 1/2 foot stakes are now 2 feet into the earth.
  • Cut off some mushroomed-out pipes (bent out from excessive student pounding with a sledge hammer) with either a handsaw or a Saw-zall. This is impressive because each wall of the pipe is 1/4″ thick steel.
  • Assembled hoops on the ground (including drilling through previously stated, rather thick pipes)
  • Set hoops in place on the ground stakes
  • Attached purlin ridge (runs at the top of hoops and holds them together) from a ladder with, you guessed it, another drill.

Next up: hoops supports.

Construction Log – Wednesday, October 13

15 Oct
  • Set the rest of the ground stakes in place
  • Finished pounding in a good half of the ground stakes
  • Finished the edging on the long sides of the greenhouse
  • Filled Andrew E’s truck with another load of sod