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Walipini (pit) greenhouse WITH Aquaponics -questions  RSS feed

 
Jim Grieco
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Hello,

We live in NW Arizona zone 7A. Elevation around 6000'. Our winters can have temps go down to -10f but do not last for long periods of time.
We would like to have a 4 season greenhouse with Aquaponics. Because of our situation we are leaning toward a Walipini. I want to use earth bags for the walls since we are also building an earth bag home. I also plan to use 55 gal barrels painted black for thermal storage. I also want to berm the north wall and possibly hang black plastic on the inside so I do not have to plaster. I am probably going to use some sort of plastic sheeting inside/outside on south side to create an airspace to help control temps. Fingers crossed I will not need another heat source but if I do, I'm thinking a RMH. I'm also planning to have the "pit" 6' deep in the ground.
My excavator will be out next week to do the digging. I am stuck on deciding dimensions for the completed greenhouse. I realize I need to determine the size of our Aquaponics but at this time I am staying flexible with that. In other words, I would like to back into sizing the system. I know I do want a DWC section, normal bed section and maybe even a wicking bed section. If possible I would like to have 1 or 2 trees not on the system in the greenhouse also.
So, anyone out there who has both a Walipini and Aquaponics system want to share your design and dimensions?
Right now I'm thinking around a 30'x40' footprint. Arizona is a bit of an acception with determining sun angle. We are at 37 lat but for solar our angle is more like 25-30 because the sun is still high. I state this because I do not believe we need to go long and narrow with a steeper south wall.
Hope this all is making sense.
Thoughts on any of this?

Thanks
Jim
 
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