• Tami Hallam

You Don't Know Your Walipini from a Hole in the Ground

In my search for year round growing, I ran across the idea of a walipini. "Walipini" means "place of warmth" and is, very simply put, an underground greenhouse. People were claiming that vegetables could be grown in them year round even in cold climates. This seemed like an idea. With a little kick start from my old schoolmate, Rick, we started digging.

Hole-y Cow!

Framed Up Walls

I decided to sink my walipini eight feet down into the earth. We put 6" diameter tubing outside the structure, all along the bottom. This would help to warm the greenhouse as well as cool it. A standpipe in each corner along the garage would draw air in and two holes in the greenhouse wall would be the openings the air would enter the greenhouse from.

Root Cellar Add-On

I decided to add a root cellar so I had a place to store all the wonderful vegetables from the walipini. You can see the door on the right hand side of this picture. The root cellar would be completely underground. If nothing else, an excellent storm shelter.

Moving Right Along

By late November, things were starting to shape up. The slanted roof would be covered with Solex and would house the vegetables. The flat side would be covered with roofing and would house the fish. I don't care for the taste of Tilapia, which live in warm water, so I had to find a way to keep the Yellow Perch that I wanted, cool. So, separate bedrooms for veggies and fish and no greenhouse material over the fish room. We're going for shade here. The perch would be housed in 330 gallon IBC totes and thankfully, we thought ahead to put them in before the roof was put on. They surely wouldn't fit through the door.

Zipped Up

By early December, we had everything pretty well zipped up. This wasn't as easy as it looks. If you ever see me, ask me about the whole story!

Time to move on to the interior.

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