Building the “perfect” greenhouse using recycled materials


Greenhouse plans

Greenhouse plans



I have been gathering data and resources for making the “perfect” greenhouse for California’s Central Valley. This has been a process that has taken longer than I would like to admit, but consider the constraints:


*       ¾ of the year it must not be warmer than ambient temperature (>100ºF)
*       Much of that ¾ is unrelenting, dry solar radiation
*       ¼  of the year it must collect as much heat as possible (<45ºF)
*       Much of that ¼ is foggy, with little solar radiation



Governed by Appropriate Technology and repurposing (read: cheap), it is often that a J and J project does not start until a key material is procured. Yesterday, I found some aluminum 4’x8′ screens at the local Restore.


4x8 screens purchased at Habitat for Humanity ReStore

4×8 screens purchased at Habitat for Humanity ReStore



This was the missing link for my Central Valley Greenhouse. Sun-blocking panels that are light and easily removed for the Winter months. And they look fly. “Worth $1500 each” said the manager helping with the loading (and eager to seal the deal.)

Now I am ready to put together the pieces I have been collecting the past 10 years; the sliding dual-glazed doors, the French doors, the greenhouse plastic, and the water tanks. The first inmates will be early Spring Water Hyacinth for my customers back East. Then it will supply year-round vegetables and herbs for the Little House Farmstay.




I am still on the lookout for trailer axles and steel beams for the Tiny House project.



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