As humanity becomes more aware of the unhealthy nature of industrialized food, many individuals, as well as communities, have realized that self-grown foods are the only way to provide for healthier living. In an ideal world, every community would have an environment conducive to growing food all year round. Mistakenly, some believe that certain weather conditions are a complete road block for them.
Many are not aware that there are quite a few viable options already available. Benson Agriculture and Food Institute previously released, and then revised in 2002, schematics for their Walipini Underground Greenhouse (1, 2), which they state can be built for approximately $300.
The publication (3) is a freely offered open-source online, and is extremely detailed on how to build the Walipini, and how it works. Information included contains: tools and materials lists, and information on how the greenhouse utilizes both solar energyand energy provided by heat from the planet. The document explains how to prevent issues, modifying for extreme temperatures, roofing, drainage, installing doors and several ventilation techniques. Though very detailed, any open-sourced information can always be used as an inspiration, leading to modifications for better results!
I found three sources providing updates on their attempts at building and using the Walipini Underground Greenhouse. Treehugger (5) says it was cheap but effective, and has a great video of theirs, including some tasty looking vegetation they’ve grown already. FoodTank (6) says that vegetation has been successfully grown in otherwise hostile environments. And lastly, FoCoWalipini (7) makes a few cost saving suggestions, such as knowing what’s under the ground and what you are excavating.
For information on New Earth Nation’s Wellness Academy, including the importance of healthy nutrition, visit: http://www.newearthproject.org/institute/academies/wellness/index.html.
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3. DIY Manual Link: http://www.bensoninstitute.org/Publication/Manuals/Walipini.pdf