I drive through the warehouse/mfg areas of Seattle all the time, and there seem to be a LOT of these things in use. I am assuming you mean the hoop-type buildings with the silver tarplike coverings?
It seems a lot of businesses have invested quite a bit of money in them, and have quite a few set up, so I am thinking that they wouldn't if they had a bad rep 'in the neighborhood'.
I just looked at the catalog, and on page 3 of the last catalog:
"The potential for these buildings is limited only by your imagination... Premium silver/grey 12.5 oz, 24 mil cover reflects light, keeping the building cool i summer, warm in winter, and comes with a 15 year warranty."
Of course, I would keep the warranty and receipt available.
As far as keeping rabbits in one...it would not be my first choice - too hot in summer, not enough air.. but with tweaking it works. Even in winter I never have it really tightly shut. Right now this is due to the fact that I am still running the original door end on it which does not have a working zipper. I have a tarp hanging over the door part which keeps blasts of air out but is certainly not tight. In the summer I ventilate it from the sides. The bottom of the sides is meant to be laced to a frame pole running along the ground. I have instead laced mine to PVC pipe. In the winter it is lashed to the bottom of the frame but in the summer I pull the pipes up and out to the side a bit so it is open to the air for a foot or so but no rain can get in. If the sun strikes it at all once the outdoor temp is 55 - 60ish it really gets too hot for my rabbits - they are all angoras. A silver tarp over the top and a well placed fan works for me. The trees I set it up under have a grown a great deal and I don't use a tarp any more at all.
I have 4' rigid fencing all around the building just inside of the covering to protect the rabbits from coyotes. We have fisher cats around here too but for some reason they have not been a problem.
OK probably more than you want to know about the rabbit end of the deal but these are my experiences with a similar type of building.
how long have you been raising rabbits? do you just raise the rabbits or do you also work with the fiber? what all is involved with that? (sorry that is a super broad question but I know little to nothing about rabbits especially angoras, our little pet rabbit "cheeto" is about the extent of my experience )
sue, that sets off an idea.....I notice they have remnants...maybe i can scrounge enough stuff to build my own and jsut buy the fabric to cover it. for that matter I might be able to find one used I suppose!
My impression is that permaculture is about saying "here is what I think is a better way."
Perhaps what you meant to do was to explore the problem space and offer solutions that are cheaper and more eco friendly?
Personally, I would invite folks to explore Oehler's greenhouse book.
You can probably get something standing in a fraction of the time, for one tenth the cost and it will work 10 times better. Plus, the materials will have a far lighter eco footprint. Maybe by a factor of 100.
Further, I think any time somebody says "stop your wicked ways" that strikes me as not permaculture. Sure, sure, I know there are folks that insist that that is permaculture - I guess I'm saying that that isn't my idea of permaculture.
Further (again) I'm kinda keen on the idea that some folks are at eco level 2 with a desire to go to eco level 3. And those folks think that people at eco level 8 are damn crazy. I think the world could us a bit of help. I think that saying "stop your nastiness!" isn't gonna help. I think that sharing a bit of info can often help a person get from level 2 to level 3. And when they are at level 6, the stuff at level 8 doesn't look so crazy.
But ... maybe that's just me ....
Plastic tends to be a pain, but who can afford a glass greenhouse? How ecologically sound is modern glassmaking, anyway?
Returning to the olde dayes of hunter-gatherer with homes of hide might be better, but how realistic is that?
paul wheaton wrote:
Further (again) I'm kinda keen on the idea that some folks are at eco level 2 with a desire to go to eco level 3.
that is part of what makes this forum so great and often different then others. and I really do appreciate being accomodated here even though I am quite admitedly on about level 2 with an end goal of about 5 on a scale from 1-10. due to my own circumstances and choices I will likely never go farther than that, and I am ok with that and I of course want others to be accepting of it and I still value the input of those on level 10 and would like to use their knowledge. around here in the er...well..shall we say...less progressive areas of the country...I am the freak just because I don't chug diet coke, insisted on breastfeeding my child and actually seek out and grow organic food. oh how silly I am considered for not assuming that the governmental entities are protecting us from anything harmful in our food or damaging to the enviroment.
we are all buisy creating the word we want to see and so I'm just trying to inform potential readers of this thread about about,what I see,as,some MAJOR drawbacks to PURCHACING a greenhouse or plastic 'barn' from this company.
The barn debate reminds me of the lightbulb debate.Compact florecent light bulbs have mercury so you are saving energy but poisoning the planet in a different way.Trade offs with no winner in my mind.So IF a person needs a barn then yea,its going to have a huge impact on the enviroment.People in indigenous cultures here in N America didnt use barns and people with domestic animals in less consumptive cultures around the world often live with the animals in some way.So from my re-wilding perspective,I guess I just think"why do we need barns"(and for that matter why do we need electric lights).And of course in my daily life it plays out in my general avoidence of domestic animal products.
It is clear that you are passionate about the way you choose to live.
Do you wish for more people to live the way you do? Or less?
Consider for a moment ... there is a woman with 10 miles of where you live. Let's call her "Mary". Mary works as a nurse in a hospital. She has a mortgage and she has $15,000 in other debts. She eats fast food several times a week and generally shops at Safeway. She doesn't vote - politics is just too icky. She watches at least three hours of television every day.
I choose to label Mary as "eco level 0" - meaning that she is far more concerned about her current artificial hair color than what kind of light bulb she uses.
Myself and a couple of people here understand your work with perennials and annuals that reseed themselves in our climate. And your work with a variety of things on your land. And we are gradually taking several of those lessons and working them into our lives. As time passes, many of us will live a life closer to the life you live now (some aspects more than others).
But to Mary ... You're a lunatic and should probably be institutionalized for your own safety and maybe the safety of others. Therefore, she is pretty certain that she should do the opposite of anything you suggest. And will refuse to consider anything you have to say on any topic.
This is my point.
Further, there are more people in the US living at eco level 0 than all of the other levels combined. And there are more people at eco level 1 than all of the eco levels 2 and greater, combined. And there are far more people at eco level 2 than at levels 3 and beyond, combined. Etc.
So there you are, at level 11 or so. I might be at level 8. And most of the folks coming here are at level 2 to 5. A few lower and a few higher. A few higher than me.
So when somebody wants to talk about something and I wish to convey my opinion on the topic, I choose to assume that the folks reading it would be of level 2 or higher. I can make a few assumptions, but there are some things I'm convinced of that would just seem downright crazy to somebody at level 2. So I try to come up with something that I think is accurate, yet more like level 5 or 6. Because to somebody at level 2, level 5 seems cool and level 8 seems crazy (but not "lock you up" crazy).
Further, there are others at level 11 that live in a completely different way than you. They have a different reduced footprint for a different set of reasons.
And I have more concerns. Lots more.
In a feeble attempt to express myself, I wish to shamelessly rewrite your last post. I hope to convey much of the same intent, but phrase it in a different way ....
For my own consumption, I have concerns about the use of fossil fuels and my philosophies on what poisons the planet.
I think I have some ideas that could save you thousands of dollars and maybe a hundred hours in time. But first, I would like to understand: what is the driving need to have the structure? If I knew that, I might be able to suggest something that can meet your needs faster and for less money.
Myself, I'm trying to think "why do I not have something like that? If I had something like that, what would I do with it? Why does somebody else want something like that and I don't?" Maybe it's tied to my current choices to avoid the use of domestic animal stuff?
This, to me, is a core part of permaculture. Less protesting, more nurturing.
I wish to help folks on their eco path. I even want to help the folks at eco level zero.
I suspect that you wish your message to reach the brains of thousands of people rather than six people. And, I think a slight shift in how your phrase your position might help you reach that goal.
And, of course, I could be wrong about .... everything.
I've walked onto some thin ice (in possibly offending you) in an attempt to (in my obnoxious opinion) help your message reach more minds.
Also the way you refrased my statement was not fanatical but totally pc.Thats great that you want to be encouraging though.Its just not interesting to me to read stuff like that.Here on the west coast,"eco"livers are a dime a dozen.The problem is that most of what they do is just a feel good rationalization for not actually changing anything fundamental and not calling them on their bs is just more validation.So anyway I'm just posting in a way that I would find interesting to read.Steeped in controversy!
Last winter, I had way too many plants in the basement, and this winter its a little better. Alot of it is bamboo that I wanted to gain some root size before transplanting out. But I notice they do better outside, even though they die to the ground each winter. Because the soil gets sucked of its nutrients and I guess I suppose to be fertilizing the plants tons just so they grow could in a little pot of soil.
I do have a fig that bears fruit that'll keep getting brought into the basement year after year. Anyways, I might still do some setup, maybe more cold frame or something where I can grow cold tolerant leafy greens in the winter to supply some food for me. I'm thinking of building something in south side of a hill would work good. I haven't really thought too much about that idea either, but I am aiming for something that won't take any heat to keep above freezing.