Friday, January 22, 2016

How does your garden grow in a dome?

I know. I know. It was just a few days ago that I was posting a shower-door greenhouse design. But then something possibly cooler popped up - an easy, cheap, and recycled geodesic dome frame. The same me that loves Earthships and and container houses has also been a dome fan for most of my life. Buckminster Fuller is the man!

Checking out cheap greenhouse plans, I encountered an ad for So I went to the site. I checked out their videos. I checked out their prices. I started scheming and dreaming. But I balked a bit.The connectors are very reasonable, but the lumber...

 I am thinking a Medium (and maybe a Small to serve as my fortress of solitude/birdwatching blind)
There are two problems with the lumber. First, and most important, is that we need trees more than we need boards. We need trees to absorb and sequester carbon. Trees are massively important in sustaining life on Earth. Want to clean the air? Plant more trees. Want to have a shot at slowing or reversing climate change? Plant more trees. Want to be part of the problem? Keep cutting trees down or encouraging others to cut them down. Second, I constantly skirt the fine line between cheap and broke. So, I let my enthusiasm for building a dome greenhouse waiver a bit.

Even so, I sent links to Knippa, Grizz, and my lovely wife to share the cool idea. Last night before dinner, my wife mentioned something that made the dome much more do-able - she has access to some reclaimed pallet lumber - 42 inch sections of 2x4. And they are pretty much free. There went my lumber issues! I love it when a plan comes together.

Ain't that cool?

So, now we have the frame figured out. Where am I going to find a recycle/salvage solution for the covering? (If you have any suggestions, please let me know.) And how do I want to make the door? Can I squeeze an aquaponics setup in there? Will it make my tomatoes look fat and my gardening dreams come true?

May your green thumb be doubly so and your leaves be monstrous!