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Extension is expanding its online education and resources while in-person events and classes are canceled.

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 that 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.

There are no upcoming events for Deep Winter Greenhouses. View all of Extension's events.

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