protecting warm weather crops
- One way to make a season extender, and there are many, would be to use cob as the main supportive structure. Cob is a mixture of sand, straw clay and water. It is simple to build with, but requires extensive labor and some easily learned skills. The materials are all organic and natural and will decompose into a mound when the structure is abandoned. Yet, the material is surprisingly stable, if it is protected from the weather and standing water. It would be an excellent heat sink for incoming solar radiation.
A big compost pile could be built on the tall side of the structure to provide a heat source for part of the winter months. We compost leaves we get delivered form the city, stacked many feet thick on top of our pig huts. They can stay warm for months from the heat of the decomposition process if everything is operating properly.
It would be a fun starter project to learn about cob. There would be an end in sight to the work, and the need for precision and fancy finish would not be necessary. There are lots of websites about cob. Go to google and type in cob construction.
A very simple roof of 2x4 roof could have 6 mill plastic green house plastic stretched over it. Use strips of wood screwed to the 2x4 frame and weighted with gravel or dirt to anchor the plastic in place. I think you will either have to get one of those heat activated, bi-metallic door openers, or get up every sunny morning to open the ventilation to regulate the temperature.
Cob could also be used as the mud plaster for a strawbail structure, but I think you'll run into stability problems unless your really careful and lucky.
I drew a sketch of a cross-sectional and floor plan for the simple structure I envision. I'll attached to this message.
Prairie Dock Farm
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2003 4:19 PM
Subject: [fukuoka_farming] protecting warm weather crops
> Just thinking of ways to extend our season a bit. I'm wondering if
> making walls of straw bales around our tomato/heat loving crop beds
> would help keep the temperatures more even?
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