new videos
hot off the press!  
    more about rocket
mass heaters here.

more videos from
the PDC here.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Welcome Rick Austin author of Secret Greenhouse of Survival  RSS feed

 
Cassie Langstraat
steward
Posts: 3933
Location: Zone 9b
303
bee books food preservation fungi
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator


Photo Source: Carolina Readiness

This week Rick Austin will be joining us to talk about all sorts of different things regarding survivalism and greenhouses.

There are four copies of his book, Secret Greenhouse of Survival up for grabs.

Rick will be stopping by on the forum over the next few days answering questions and joining in discussions.

From now through this Friday, any posts in this forum, ie the survival forum, could be selected to win.

To win, you must use a name that follows our naming policy and you must have your email set up in Paul's Daily-ish email.

The winner will be notified by email and must respond within 24 hours.

Posts in this thread won't count, but please feel free to say hi to Rick and make him feel welcome!
 
Charles Kelm
Posts: 171
Location: Western Washington (Zone 7B - temperate maritime)
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Welcome Rick - your book title sounds intriguing. I have been putting of building a greenhouse until the perfect plans come around. I have been interested in some which are partially underground, and am looking forward to hearing more about what you suggest.
 
Paul Ladendorf
Posts: 38
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Rick,

I'm sort of in the same boat as Charles. Looking to build a permanent greenhouse and was thinking about a partially underground structure but am concerned about the cost plus I've got a high water table at about 4' (at highest) so not sure if even going 2' underground makes sense. I just installed a solar geo thermal heating/cooling system for my (very near) future greenhouse which should keep it close to "freeze free" here near Chicago. Any way, I'll be interested to hear your ideas.
 
T Phillips
Posts: 39
Location: Colorado Springs, CO zone 5A / Canon City, CO zone 5B
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Rick-
We're also very interested in this subject. Welcome to Permies!
 
Nova Lewis
Posts: 4
Location: Silverton, Oregon
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello Rick!
I look forward to hearing what you have to share.
 
jimmy gallop
Posts: 196
Location: east and dfw texas
3
bee chicken forest garden hunting trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Welcome Rick

just ordered the book I just can't wait
 
Robert Kick
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Welcome Rick
 
Robin Kyle
Posts: 26
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Welcome Rick, I watched your greenhouse video a couple weeks ago on the homegrown food summit and loved it, Im in Minnesota so its really one of the only ways for me to go when it comes to growing year round. Glad you'll be here.
 
Rhonda Mott
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Rick! I love your idea of a secret garden. I am looking forward to your webinar in the Beyond Off Grid online summit. Welcome to Permies!
 
Rick Austin
author
Posts: 35
4
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Charles Kelm wrote:Welcome Rick - your book title sounds intriguing. I have been putting of building a greenhouse until the perfect plans come around. I have been interested in some which are partially underground, and am looking forward to hearing more about what you suggest.


Charles: I spent a lot of time in the construction business growing up and built all my own sustainable homes since the 1980's... My Secret Greenhouse of Survival is the culmination of all that time, trial and error, and looking at ways that I could integrate energy savings for heating my home, heating my hot water, and growing food in a greenhouse that would also be sustainable- meet my permaculture mindset, using symbiotic plants, no fertilizer, no pesticide, etc. inside a "closed system".

The greenhouse could be partially underground if you are on property that allows that (I am on granite)but the greenhouse does drain to the ground, the concrete planters are a thermal mass, and the systems and insulation allow me to grow citrus and coffee trees in the greenhouse when it is below zero outside...with no other source of heat other than the sun and the thermal mass to absorb heat during the day and give off heat at night.
 
Rick Austin
author
Posts: 35
4
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Paul Ladendorf wrote:Hi Rick,

I'm sort of in the same boat as Charles. Looking to build a permanent greenhouse and was thinking about a partially underground structure but am concerned about the cost plus I've got a high water table at about 4' (at highest) so not sure if even going 2' underground makes sense. I just installed a solar geo thermal heating/cooling system for my (very near) future greenhouse which should keep it close to "freeze free" here near Chicago. Any way, I'll be interested to hear your ideas.


Like I told Charles, my greenhouse is on a granite, so I can't so something underground, but you really do not need to. My Secret Greenhouse of Survival is is simple, yet insulated, and I have never had to use an additional heat source other than the thermal mass. I have high energy efficient windows that keep the heat in at night as well... when building, I just thought about how would I build a house to keep me warm. but just in a wet environment. I bleed my excess heat from the greenhouse into my attached home via a solar exhaust fan, and that heats my house with humid air...which makes it a lot more comfortable for me in the winter... no "sick building" syndrome... the air from the house vents back to the Greenhouse, so that the plants get CO2 from me, and I get oxygen and humidity from them in the winter... in the summer I just close those vents and bleed excess heat out into the environment via a solar fan...

The cost was amazingly cheap... everything, including my grey water system to water the plants, cost less that $2500 in materials. (It reduces the average energy bill down about $1400, so it pays for itself in less than 2 winters.
 
Rick Austin
author
Posts: 35
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
T Phillips wrote:Hi Rick-
We're also very interested in this subject. Welcome to Permies!


Thanks for having me... Check out my website www.SecretGardenOfSurvival.com I have a page on the greenhouse there, and you can get the basics of what it is all about.
 
Rick Austin
author
Posts: 35
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nova Small wrote:Hello Rick!
I look forward to hearing what you have to share.


Well Nova- I'd be glad to answer any specific questions you might have, or look at some of the answers I have given to other folks in this forum.
 
Rick Austin
author
Posts: 35
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
jimmy gallop wrote:Welcome Rick

just ordered the book I just can't wait


That's great Jimmy! Hope you enjoy it. I know that many have built my same greenhouse with the rough plans I have in there, but you can also upsize or down-size the greenhouse to your needs based on the formulas I give in the appendix (for example - how to figure out how many concrete blocks to buy, when building the planters.
 
Rick Austin
author
Posts: 35
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Robert Kick wrote:Welcome Rick


Thanks Robert... ask me a question and I would be happy to try my best to answer it.
 
Rick Austin
author
Posts: 35
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Robin Kyle wrote:Welcome Rick, I watched your greenhouse video a couple weeks ago on the homegrown food summit and loved it, Im in Minnesota so its really one of the only ways for me to go when it comes to growing year round. Glad you'll be here.


Thanks Robin... glad you liked the webinar!

I am a boy from up north myself, so I tried to think of the worst (coldest/ least sunny) environments that this concept could work in in the contiguous US, and that's how I built it. I am just amazed at how well it works, even in the summer time... we have 3-4 harvests each year from the greenhouse (we plant 3-4 different sets of crops based on the season...
 
Rick Austin
author
Posts: 35
4
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Rhonda Mott wrote:Hi Rick! I love your idea of a secret garden. I am looking forward to your webinar in the Beyond Off Grid online summit. Welcome to Permies!


Thanks Rhonda... Yes the garden was my swan song in permaculture- or as I like to call it- Nature-Culture...It is really the way nature has grown things for millions of years- without man's help, without chemicals, and it looks natural- because it IS the way nature grows things...symbiotic relationships, no pesticide, no fertilizer, no weeding... just letting nature, and the natural critters in nature do all the work.

I am just amazed at the amount of food that can grow in just a 2' x 2' space, when you let nature do what it wants to do, instead of what man tries to force it to do.

All I do is harvest...about 6-9 gallons of fruit each and every day...on less than half an acre of land. (and that is a lot of food to eat, preserve, etc. every day...just ask my wife!)
 
Sam Green
Posts: 20
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Rick, am excited to hear your advice on greenhouses, esp with a survival aspect to them. Im looking at building one as my main living structure, kind of like the guys in Basalt, CO did, and others. Wondering if you have any tips/tricks for making the shift to one on the side of your house to making it your whole house. I like the idea of a "climate battery" or annualized geo solar, and such concepts, your input would be greatly appreciated. Also wondered your thoughts on using one to keep chickens/ducks/geese/pigs, heck if big enough even a cow or two through the winter, im up in eastern canada so its wet and cold here then. Thanks.
 
Rus Williams
pollinator
Posts: 152
Location: Zutphen, The Netherlands
22
books forest garden
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Rick,

The area of glass in your greenhouse is obviously much less than a traditional one. How does that affect the plants? My seedlings can grow a bit leggy on a windowsill.
 
Rick Austin
author
Posts: 35
4
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sam Green wrote:Hi Rick, am excited to hear your advice on greenhouses, esp with a survival aspect to them. Im looking at building one as my main living structure, kind of like the guys in Basalt, CO did, and others. Wondering if you have any tips/tricks for making the shift to one on the side of your house to making it your whole house. I like the idea of a "climate battery" or annualized geo solar, and such concepts, your input would be greatly appreciated. Also wondered your thoughts on using one to keep chickens/ducks/geese/pigs, heck if big enough even a cow or two through the winter, im up in eastern canada so its wet and cold here then. Thanks.


Sam: The only problem I see with making it your whole house is that a greenhouse environment is very wet- and gives off a lot of humidity... you want that in your house in the winter time, but maybe not so in the summer... I don't know exactly where you live, but all that humidity can lead to mold on furniture, drywall, etc inside a typical home environment... My walls inside my greenhouse are made of concrete board (Hardie Board) so they are impervious to the wet environment... My window trim is a mixture of concrete board and PVC with silicone sealant- to keep water from getting into the walls... The great thing about my greenhouse being attached is that I can bleed the heat and humidity outside in the summer time (with a solar powered exhaust fan), while my house stays cool and dry.

I encourage you to pick up my book...I have a whole chapter on keeping livestock and incubation of livestock in my greenhouse...since it is a nice, warm, and safe environment for them, even in the dead of winter. Unlike keeping a lot of those in a barn, I do not have to use a non-sustainable heat source to keep them from freezing/ frost bite.
 
Rick Austin
author
Posts: 35
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Rus Williams wrote:Hi Rick,

The area of glass in your greenhouse is obviously much less than a traditional one. How does that affect the plants? My seedlings can grow a bit leggy on a windowsill.


Russ:

My plants do just fine...and really there is only a small area where the frames block the light...but that is only during a certain time each day, since the sun moves all day long so all the plants actually do get light... and in the winter they get most light from the windows, and in the summer (when the sun is higher in the sky) they get most light from the roof glazing.

My ceiling height is 8" in the front, and 12' in the back... you can make it taller if you want to... since my concrete planters are 32" tall, that means I have 5' to 9' to grow plants and some of them do climb and get that big. (My YouTube videos show a lot of that.) I also grow citrus and coffee trees in my greenhouse (in pots) in the winter, and they are 6' tall.
 
Jo York
Posts: 56
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
ROCK ON RICK! I am DEFINITELY getting the book! THANKS!
 
Rick Austin
author
Posts: 35
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jo York wrote:ROCK ON RICK! I am DEFINITELY getting the book! THANKS!



Glad to hear it Jo! Let me know what you think!
 
Paul Ladendorf
Posts: 38
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Rick,

Where are you located? As I'm sure you know, to do passive solar in the cloudy midwest, you need a boatload of storage and a really good heat transfer system. 55 gallon drums in direct sun aren't going to cut it. I built a passive solar house near Chicago and it does great except Dec-Feb when there is very little sun.
 
Jessica Nelson
Posts: 6
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Rick, thanks for hangin' out with us! I enjoy your materials and appreciate the practicality and ingenuity you share with us.
 
C. Letellier
Posts: 225
Location: Greybull WY north central WY zone 4 bordering on 3
14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello and welcome.
 
Cassie Langstraat
steward
Posts: 3933
Location: Zone 9b
303
bee books food preservation fungi
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So I ran the winner picker app in the forum software and we have 2 winners.

Pia Jensen
and
siu-yu man

Congratulations Pia and siu-yu!

I sent you an email to ask for the email address of the person that first referred you to Permies.com. That person (if qualified) will also get a copy of the book and a permies care package.
 
Pia Jensen
Posts: 218
4
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Congratulations Pia and siu-yu!
Awesome - looking forward to holding and reading Rick's Secret Greenhouse of Survival!
 
siu-yu man
Posts: 99
Location: zone 6a, north america
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
thanks permies & Rick.
will put the book to good use for sure.
 
siu-yu man
Posts: 99
Location: zone 6a, north america
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
got the book this weekend and just finished the read.
definitely recommend, lots of great practical tips in there that people may overlook otherwise, and cause more headaches & expenses down the road.

there's also a photo of beans, cukes, peanuts, passion fruit, mint. clover, oats & comfrey all growing in a 2'x2' square.
that's a seriously awesome guild.

thanks rick & permies
 
Pia Jensen
Posts: 218
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
feeling sad I have not yet received my copy via email....
 
Lorenzo Costa
steward
Posts: 800
Location: Italy, Siena, Gaiole in Chianti zone 9
206
books forest garden trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
siu-yu man wrote:got the book this weekend and just finished the read.
definitely recommend, lots of great practical tips in there that people may overlook otherwise, and cause more headaches & expenses down the road.


Siu-yu why don't you write a review on the page of the book in the book forum:
Secret Greenhouse
 
Lorenzo Costa
steward
Posts: 800
Location: Italy, Siena, Gaiole in Chianti zone 9
206
books forest garden trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
and Pia Jensen too, write a review when you receive it
 
Pia Jensen
Posts: 218
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
surely will if and when
 
Pia Jensen
Posts: 218
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
awesome, thanks Rick, got the kindle link today, just now, will read later and provide feedback as suggested above, over the weekend or early next week, Thank You. Much appreciated.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!