Jumping for joy with
Have you ever wanted to grow your own food right
at home, in your own backyard? Do you want the
ability to do that all year-round? If your answers
to those questions are “yes” (and we know they
are), you can achieve that by building your very
own greenhouse!
You might say to yourself, “I can’t afford to build a
greenhouse” or “I don’t have the time to build one”.
The truth is, building a greenhouse doesn’t need to
be difficult or expensive, and it can actually be fun.
Diana Krystofiak, a resident of Fairfield, IA and faculty member of the Sustainable Living department
at Maharishi University of Management knew this
and decided to take action.
Diana and her husband Thom have a shared
passion for nature and sustainability.
When Diana decided that she wanted to build a
new greenhouse she knew that she wanted to do
it using local and recycled materials. After tossing
around a few ideas she realized she already had
what she needed, a trampoline. By repurposing a
large trampoline frame, Diana and Thom would be
able to create the frame for their new greenhouse.
Here’s how it was done:
First, by dividing the trampoline ring into two large
halves, they would make the front and back of
their greenhouse. The two halves would need to
be sturdy, so Diana and Thom grounded them in
cement, about 3ft in the ground.
By facing the bottoms of the two trampoline halves
towards each other they were able to reuse the
trampoline legs as well. Using PVC piping and the
trampoline legs, they connected the front and back
parts of their frame, and in doing so they created
the structure for the greenhouse’s walls. They also
added a frame to the bottom of their new greenhouse for additional stability.
The next step was to find a door. Diana was
able to salvage an old wooden screen door, which
worked out quite nicely. Thom built the door frame
and door supports out of locally sourced osage
wood, which they even milled themselves!
After the greenhouse’s frame was
finished Diana and Thom could
cover it. They used a horticulture
grade polythene covering, which is
important to do because it is specifically designed to endure in different
types of weather conditions. This is
the part that makes a greenhouse
a greenhouse. The polythene helps
to keep the warmth in and the cold
out, all year-round.
Now that the greenhouse construction had been completed it was
time to get planting! Diana already
has knowledge and experience in
terms of permaculture techniques,
and wanted to have her greenhouse
reflect that. She chose to use a keyhole garden layout scheme, which
involves layering gardening materials such as soil, manure, compost,
hay, and rocks in a specific manner
that helps to make the soil healthier.
It also helps to maximize growing
Diana and Thom are able to grow
massive melons in the summertime,
and a variety of greens in the winter. These wintery veggies incude
mizuna, tatsoi, space spinach, claytonia, and winter density lettuce.
Learn more about greenhouses and all things sustainable at: