Extension Logo
Extension Logo
University of Minnesota Extension

All in-person Extension meetings, events and classes are canceled through Friday, May 15.

Deep Winter Greenhouses

What is a Deep Winter Greenhouse?

A Deep Winter Greenhouse (DWG) is a greenhouse designed to limit the amount of fossil fuel it takes to grow crops during cold winters. DWGs are passive-solar greenhouses that rely on energy from the sun to heat the building instead of more traditional heating sources.

There are a few important aspects of the design that make this possible. DWGs are built in an east-west position, with a glazing wall that faces south. This wall is specially angled, depending on latitude, to get the most possible solar energy on the coldest day of the year. The sun heats the air inside which is blown underground with a fan and stored in rocks. This heated rock bed is a thermal mass which acts as a heat battery and stores heat for when it is needed at night.

DWGs in Minnesota can be used to grow crops that thrive with minimal light, providing year-round production capacity for small-scale farmers and gardeners. Crops well-suited to DWG production include a variety of lettuces, herbs, brassicas, asian greens and sprouts.



Interested in exchanging resources and information with farmers, researchers and community members who are exploring DWGs?

Join the Deep Winter Producers Association's Facebook group. This Facebook group enables those who are interested and/or operating DWGs to connect, post questions and network.

Like the Deep Winter Producers Association's Facebook page. Receive posts from the monitors of this Facebook page to keep up with current DWG news.

The Western Chapter of the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota hosts the Deep Winter Producer Association networking group.

To keep abreast of all of RSDP's happenings, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our newsletter.

Share this page:

© 2020 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.