Hi . (quick bio) . I'm knocking on 50 , with a bad back anoung other problems . Im not dirt poor , but I like a lot of familes are holding it together just about , so disposable cash is tight . Ive pritty much blown my meager budet on two clear tarps , 300 heavy duty , a matock and a heavy duty hoe. I have one bag of cement in reserve . I have a little left in the budget , but am saveing it for unforseen things later on in the build . So I have to make it with what I have and what I can scounge . But I only have a small car , so moveing large things is problermatic .
So the plan is to build a kinda Walapini greenhouse
half in the ground and half earthbags . I already started a thread
under rocket mass heaters
, so when finished building outside , I plan to build a heater on the inside . Glenn and a couple of others have helped tremendusly with those plans
. Once the greenhouse
is built , ill be returning to the heater thread . But for now talking about greenhouses in the mass heater section seems wrong . Hence ive started this thread here . (link to first thread ill leave at the bottem of the post , along with pics) .
Dimentions ;- the hole I have is 3m x 6m . I plan to slope the walls outwards to make the space up to 4m x 8m . but as is , I have given 2m space all around to build walls on . (ref.pic) .
How I see the end result ;- 2m thick earth bag wall to the north , banked up so a to be higher then the south wall , what will be 1m thick . The sides 2m thick , but lower as to let more light in. at least 3 bags high all round so that I can trap the clear tarps between layers of bags . One above the other with a earth bag size gap between the 2 . a couple of 2by1 beams across to suport the tarps. I have a 1m x 2m clear plastic greenhouse
I plan to use as the doorway. Once I get to that stage , raised grow beds next to the side and south side.
Thats the plan . So far I have a hole dug and ive moved the topsoil to one side out the way. I have a couple of trees
to deal with . But I can sort that out the deeper I dig . Right now im just finishing off the ground work , before I start laying bags .
Time for some questions about bagging . So I have 300 heavy duty plastic rubble bags . So wet dirt is better then dry , when filling the bags and then they dry out over time . But these are plastic so no water
can escape . I want to fill the bags up(no waisted space) , but duck tape them down instead of sowing the ends up. So the damp cant get out there. So im thinking on making a ton of little steaks as long as a hand , pointed on each end . Used to connect two bags above with two below , that way the moister can flow through the bags, drying them out over time .
I know about laying bricks , linking them together to make the wall stronger and figure a simular method to laying bags would work . It seems to me this all will work ok . But im a little worried that over time the bags may slide off each other , distorting the wall .i was thinking of maybe putting a few planks across the layers as a kinda cross beem strengthening , but is the damp gets to them and they rot , it may become slippery stuck between plastic. I was also thinking of using spray
foam filler as cement and sealant between the bags (at least to enough
to stop water getting between the bags) . Over all , I think
this will work . Ill have to over come UAV light damage to the bags . The suction of the wind pulling up on a 6mx 10m tarp needs to be over come and a host of other little things that are more to do on the inside . There is what to do with the water run off from the tarps (got a couple of ideas on that once I get to it).
But right now I need to know im not over looking something that I cant foresee . Something about the plan that im not getting or should
better work on . Am I heading for disaster becoz I didn't do some little thing I over looked at the start .
Ill drop a couple of pics below , to give perspective . But know that the size of the hole should by the end be a meter large all round . I just didn't want to dig out that what I may have to put back later and cant. Haven't really thought about ventilation yet beyond gaps around the door way and a vent leading from the highest place to the outside.
So please anyone with experiences of these matters or just plane anyone that's spotted a fail that ive over looked . Speak up , I think I am at about the most critical stage of the build . If other stuff goes wrong , it will not take to much work to set it right . But building the earth bag walls will be a real ass-ache in effort to fix if I get it wrong and find out later . The only problem I have right now is a pounder/tamper (ground hammer, bag flattener). What ever its called I don't got one of dem dair tings . I got a brick and some planks of wood
. Still I figure its harder building the standard wall . Being as its one bag thick and 6ft more tall . I'm aiming for 2-3 bags thick and maybe 5ft tall at most on the north wall.
As for lighting . I got a couple of pie
in the sky ideas . But I figure I got a couple of them solar garden lights
. They are not much strong on there own , but together they give off enough light to see by if maybe not read by . That should do for the time being .
Oh yes the water run off from the tarps , couple of ideas . First one , I got a wheelie rubbish bin and a large plastic barrel I can fill up with run off . Works as a temp fix . But if they are some what filled and the heavens open it could over flow fast . Idea two . I got a 4mx3m tarp , I use it to make a run off pond
. Problem is I want that pond
space for raised grow beds (grow space/surround insulation). My last idea is a little more crazy . I make a hot tube inside . Run off water goes to hot tube and gets heated as thermal mass from the mass heater I got planned later . Ill worry about it more closer to putting the roof on , but views and opinions welcome . What is it that say “fail to plan , is planning to fail”.
As ive mentioned before ive chatted to Glenn and others about the mass heater and my plans
have changed drastic from there experiences and knowledge . I was gonna put it in a stupid corner of the greenhouse
, but they were like no centre and I was like wow that so makes sense. But now im wondering where to put the syphon . But that's another thread . ( https://permies.com/t/98267/relationship-riser-top-barrel
from start to now its taken me 3 months . Not that I remember what day I first broke ground on this venture . At the end of all this if I can get a 10-15 degrees temp difference to outside . Ill be happy. That will be enough to stop my plants dieing each year (im a sap that feels guilty for planting things I know will die at the end of the year) and giving them some more time to ripen . That and at the same time giving me my own little temple of solitude. We love are families to bits , but sometimes we would trade it all just for a warm chair , a fav drink and a bit of peace and quiet . If only for a little while .
Well reader , that's da plan . (I hope) . Everything is open to change for the better . Just keep an eye on materials when volunteering ideas . Ill not be changing the plan because someone thinks it would be better using clear plastic sheets. Not meaning to be rude , it would be better . but I don't have the money for that . It would be better to buy a greenhouse
, but whose got money for that. The way I see it is I am making this dirt cheap (pun intended , because a lot of this will be made of mud. Ha ha move on ) so all the permies chaps and chaplets can say greenhouse
for that cheap if you put the work in . Even a disabled dude can do it , if they have the time and determination .
pictures are from east to west and back again . the others are close up of the dirt i have to work with . the trees in the hole will be easier to get out the deeper the hole gets . oh and the wheel barrow has a slow puncture .
Or at least point a finger and laugh while saying I told you so LOL . Then you can point it out to the next fool through the door .