Winnipeg Solar Greenhouse tour

05/05/2016 18:33

I've been working on a commercial sized Chinese style Solar Greenhouse project for a couple of years.  I'm hoping to work with a market gardener in Montana to build at least one of these greenhouses to promote year round vegetable growing. Here's a description:Solar Greenhouse Proposal 10.pdf (2,2 MB)

In late April, I spent a day in Winnipeg touring Chinese style solar greenhouses. I met with researchers at the University of Manitoba and then with two market gardeners who use these greenhouses.  It was inspiring to see greenhouses with advanced, healthy plants growing in a cold climate. I've written up my notes and have a bunch of photos of the trip so if you are interested, write me at and I'll send the info to you. 

Chinese style Solar Greenhouse

 Imagine, as a market gardener, growing fresh, organic food all year in Montana without any fossil fuels. Tomatoes into November and December, new greens starting in February. These off season crops offer higher profit margins because the alternative for consumers is the tired produce in the grocery stores.

The Chinese started developing solar greenhouses in the 1970's and now have over 3 million acres of them.  Their mature design grows vegetables year-round and is energy self sufficient up to the 42nd parallel.

We are currently working with a Montana market gardener to build a commercial solar greenhouse next year. Our goals are to use the Chinese model and proportions but adapt to our local materials and building practices.  We know that the building will have to perform well, but also be inexpensive enough to make the economics work.

Please call or write if you have interest in a similar project.



Jim Baerg Montana Energy+Design
223 S. 5th St.
Livingston, MT 59047