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walipini/ pit/ hoophouse/ hybrid?

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I live in Oklahoma...and as you know we are always challenged when it comes to gardening..LOL Ive been exhaustively researching these ideas about 365 gardening and preserving while living off of the grid, so before I call out the earth movers I want to make sure i have all of my ducks in a row!.....I was very interested in this site... http://greenhouse.taroandti.com/2008/02/28/earth-sheltered-pit-greenhouse/ It seems they are doing a hybrid type at a low cost.
I would love to find others in my area that might have some experience with this and i also have a few questions for the forum?.....

1. I notice everyone is planting on the floor. Wouldn't it be better use of the space to do a terraced planting along the walls and this would act as a berm as well?

2. Although i am knee deep into self efficiency My moto is( purposeful can be pretty at the same time)... So has anyone added some of the more aesthetic details to their plans... ponds, decorative elements ect?

3. could i figure out a way to incorporate a tropical zone for figs and citrus .. a zone where i could let plants go dormant if need be... a cactus area... a fish pond/aquaponic area and a little mushroom area? or am i looking at digging several different houses?

Oh sure, it's a tiny ad, but under the right circumstances, it gets bigger.
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