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The Truly Passive Greenhouse Movie-- media kit

 
Nicole Alderman
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movie


Title: The Truly Passive Greenhouse Movie
Producer: Paul Wheaton

contact

contact for media event booking review copy requests: nicole@permies.com or jen@permies.com

If you would like your very own personalized Kickstarter link, and get a kickback for the money you bring in, go HERE


from

The problem: All greenhouses in a cold climate need heat.  So they consume energy and require human discipline.  At the same time, it is possible that on a sunny day, a greenhouse can get hot enough to kill everything inside.  


The solution: We have a plan to create a greenhouse that requires no heat, and will never overheat.  Mostly, we will use the heat from the summer to heat the structure through the winter.  And if we have a moment of excess heat we will passively store it and save it for later - with no harm to the plants, all with no need for human discipline.  (Details below)  If this kickstarter is funded, we will build it and share the progress via the internet as we do it.  


press release

The Truly Passive Greenhouse Movie will document the designing, building, and testing of a new type of greenhouse that uses no electricity or fuel whatsoever to stay warm all year. Many  greenhouse designs claim to be passive, but actually use electricity to power fans, or they simply allow plants to freeze during the coldest months of the year.

We’re all about innovating and experimenting at Wheaton Labs--so this movie will take viewers through the whole process, even documenting the greenhouse’s performance through an entire Montana winter.

If this design is as successful as we expect it to be, anyone with access to a little bit of space and some basic DIY skills will be able to grow plants year-round for food or greywater filtration while reducing their environmental impact and their electric bill. And if they support us on Kickstarter, they’ll get gobs of amazing goodies related to permaculture, homesteading, and gardening--even if they only give us one dollar!

Kickstarter link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paulwheaton/greenhouse
contact: nicole@permies.com or jen@permies.com

about


Paul Wheaton The Duke of Permaculture, is an author, producer, and certified advanced master gardener. He has created hundreds of youtube videos, hundreds of podcasts, multiple DVDs, and written dozens of articles and a book. As the lead mad scientist at Wheaton Labs, he's conducted experiments resulting in rocket stoves and ovens, massive earthworks, solar dehydrators and much more. And now he's directing his efforts to a zero-energy, earth-sheltered greenhouse!


Jennifer Richardson is a former cattle rancher and current resident of Wheaton Labs. She's a driving force in organizing this kickstarter. She helped build and the first wofati, Allerton Abbey,and is currently testing the thermal inertia of the structure. You can find out more about her recent activities on her permies.com thread


Josiah Kobernik cobbled together a diverse background in commercial agriculture, horticulture, market gardening, raising livestock, homesteading, and other general build/fix skills before landing at Wheaton Labs in 2019. Since moving to the labs, he has taken to working with roundwood timber framing, earthen plasters, videography, rocket contraptions, and any other inventions he can get his hands on. You can find out more about his recent activities on his permies.com thread


Kyle Knight is a mechanical engineer, a touring musician, and an aspiring permaculturalist originally from San Diego. He is the designer of the truly passive greenhouse's blueprints and 3-D renderings.


Fred Tyler has led the Bootcamp at Wheaton Labs for three years now. He's directed and taught skills ranging from organic gardening to woodworking to natural building. He is the coordinator of roundwood timberframe projects and food growing systems.


The Boots in Permaculture Bootcamp are the awesome team who will be constructing the truly passive greenhouse.  You can be part of this team, too! Follow this link to find out how:  Permaculture Bootcamp.


Art Ludwig is a top-selling author and international design consultant. Optimal, integrated design has been Art's day job for 37 years. His specialty is complex, deep green, integrated "systems of systems" for water, wastewater, energy, shelter, and transportation. Art has developed numerous original innovations that he has published, unpatented, into the public domain for the common good. These include the Branched Drain and Laundry to Landscape greywater systems. The latter is a best practice that has propagated worldwide. You can find Art's full bio here, on his website, Oasis Design.

interview points for media

1. What will people get if they support your kickstarter?

At the $10 level the primary reward is the movie of the WOFATI greenhouse design, the build, and the testing.

The $100 level is the "sweet spot" with a bunch of other stuff including live interactive design sessions every Friday at 3 pm during the build. The primary players will sit in front of the laptop during this session. Part of the kickstarter money  will fund the equipment to do this and arrange internet at the lab.There will also be more informal sessions on Wednesdays at 3 pm.

There's a lot of stuff at the one dollar level and at the five dollar level. As with the other kickstarters, the rewards are very heavy. We've spent a lot of time trying to make them super sweet.  There's also a $25 reward level, and a $50 reward level which includes the plans.

2. Why are you offering so much stuff for people who are only supporting your kickstarter at the one dollar level?

If someone's supporting your kickstarter, it's an awesome show of trust. It's like saying "I know I'm not going to see this thing for four months or six months or something, but I have confidence in you. I want to support you. I want to support this project." And that's so cool.

Other people say to themselves "Oh Paul's gonna make this thing. I'll wait and see what the reviews are before deciding to buy it."

And I thought, "You know what, the person who supports my kickstarter, I like them a hundred times more than the person who waits." And so how do I express my gratitude to those people?

I kinda feel like candy is a great way of doing it.

Also, if for example 10 000 people support this kickstarter, that puts it at the top of kickstarter for a day, or a maybe week. And that gets the attention of a bunch of people who know nothing about permaculture.

And it ends up visible on kickstarter forever, so if people search and we show up and they see 'permaculture', so we're infecting brains again. It feeds my need to infect more brains.

And so I want to reward everyone who supports my kickstarter, even at the $1 level.

We're offering the full final wofati greenhouse movie for $10 supporters. At the $5 level we have several full movies, Paul's ebook., the two hour pond movie from World Domination Gardening, and the Building a Cob Style RMH movie.


3. This seems really different from your previous kickstarters. All your other kickstarters were for projects that were almost complete but you haven't even started building this one yet. Why the change?  

The WOFATI greenhouse project was intended to be part of “The Permaculture Technology Jamboree," which had to be cancelled when the pandemic happened. This frustrated a lot of people and eventually someone suggested that we do a Kickstarter for it.

It's true I prefer to have a project 90% done. That's the way I'm wired. So I feel nervous about this one because we don't have anything done yet other than some pretty good plans and lovely artwork.

I'm nervous about what might go wrong.  What if we're barely funded and we hit problems?  But then any time you do anything it's riddled to the gills with risks. So we're taking on those risks.  

If we get funded heavily it will smooth out any wrinkles.

Right now there's a lot of experiments we've done and they're under-documented because we ran out of money.

But if we do a kickstarter for each big innovation, all our projects here would be on a big rocket sled.   People would get to see the projects they want to see happen. They'd get to support them directly. And we'd be able to film them because we could afford to do that.

And so this one is different! I'm nervous and excited at the same time. I hope we get a big turnout for it.

4. How exactly is this greenhouse different from other greenhouses?  

We're doing seven things.

1: Trench. Instead of an 8ft ceiling, the floor is set 4ft deep in a trench. This reduces the amount of air in the greenhouse that needs to be heated at night-time so the plants don't die.

2: Earth berm on the north (polar) side. This gives insulation and thermal mass which holds heat. Glass lets out heat, so we reduce the amount of glass. We replace it with thermal mass and the temperature inside will be more even.

3: Trench under the floor. We dig down another 5ft below floor level so now the whole trench is 9ft deep with a wooden floor 5ft above the bottom of the trench. The temperature 9ft deep is much more constant - let's say it's about 50°F. In winter, really cold air will sink into the trench. Air warmed by the surrounding soil will rise out of the trench, through the floor. This circulation of air should keep the temperature in the greenhouse above freezing.

By doing these three things you have an Oehler style greenhouse. Many of the greenhouses that claim to be an Oehler greenhouse turn out to be missing one or two of those three things. The trench under the floor is the real genius of the Oehler greenhouse.

Oehler was able to grow tomatoes in December in his greenhouse, which was the prototype for his book. But I saw his greenhouse and it wasn't well sealed so the warm air leaked out and cold air leaked in. The Oehler type greenhouse would probably work pretty good at being truly passive if it was a little bit more air-tight. This was in north Idaho where it gets to 30 below freezing. Yet still, with that leaky thing, Oehler was growing tomatoes in December!

That's a hell of an achievement - but we can go further:

4: A de-stratification pipe. I think the temperatures in the greenhouse are going to be pretty even, until the sun shines. Then you're going to get this 140° air which will rise to the roof, and it's going to stay there. It's not going to exchange with the stuff in the trench because that's colder, and cold air stays low. When you've got a lot of sun, everyone who has a greenhouse says "you need to open your vents". That requires human discipline. Sure there are mechanical or electric automatic controls but then it's not passive, and worse, they can fail.

So I came up with a de-stratification pipe. It's a 1" pipe that goes from the bottom of the trench, runs up along the inside of the glass to near the roof. The top part inside the glass is anodized black, so the sun heats it and creates a thermo-siphon. This acts like a straw, sucking the cool air up from the bottom of the trench, creating some circulation which draws the hot air near the roof downwards.

This is part of the experiment. What temperature does the air end up getting to? If the de-stratification pipe is effective does that mean that the air at the top of the greenhouse goes from 140°F to perhaps 90°? We'll find out. I talked to Mike Oehler about this before he died and he said he believed it would work. Already people are suggesting a bigger pipe. Let's do two - one at 1" and one at 1.5" and see how they work.

5: Well casing. We'll install a 20-ft x 6" diameter well casing into the bottom of the trench, to go down maybe 19 feet, so the bottom of that well is about 28ft deep. This is based on a trick farmers use in cold climates to stop water troughs from freezing. The well casing is under the trough and warm air from 20ft down rises up and keeps it from freezing. We'll also put a de-stratification pipe down to the bottom of the well casing.

This also draws on John Hait's and Don Steven's work on passive geo-solar heating. Below 20ft down the temperature is typically more or less constant - surface temperature has no effect. Long-term we hope the well can be a heat source in winter and a heat sink in summer, using the circulation created by the de-stratification pipe. It'll probably take a few years to stabilize.

6: WOFATI element. We'll be drawing on our existing knowledge from the WOFATI house experiment where thick earthen berms and roof, and an umbrella, surround the structure. We're going to add deep earth berms to the east and west of the greenhouse, an umbrella below the glass to the south and a thick earthen roof over the top. The Oehler greenhouse had an earth berm on the north side so we're adding earthy stuff to three more places and an umbrella all the way around so we have way more thermal mass. The umbrella defines where we want to have the thermal mass - it's going to keep all that dirt dry.

7: Greywater system. This is where we began, we want a passive greywater system for Allerton Abbey, our WOFATI house experiment. It should run through the winter without freezing, because having the plumbing freeze sucks! Greywater tends to be warm and water holds temperature better than almost any other substance. The system will also carry warmth into the greenhouse, which might be significant.

Lets find out!


5. You're saying 'truly passive,' which implies that other greenhouses which say they are passive really aren't. Is that correct?

Yes.

There are some brilliant greenhouses that use a huge 7 amp fan to move hot air down a big pipe where the heat is stored in insulated dirt, then back up when it gets too cold.  But they are using electricity to run that fan, so it's still probably costing them $1500 a year to keep the greenhouse warm. You can't call that passive!

They're not using electricity or natural gas or even wood to make heat, but they are using electricity to run that big-ass fan.

What we're trying to do is truly passive..

6. What does success look like for this experiment? How are you going to measure the results?  

If the temperature stays over 40°F all winter without us having to go in there and monkey with anything, we have success.

If it stays above freezing the first winter and the plants don't die, then it's indicative that it will be successful in future years. It's possible that we won't have things perfect this year so we might have to go in and monkey with things. I can't help but think that if it's 35°F this year, it will be closer to 47°F next year. I'm hoping that it will be 55°F this year and 60°F next year, but who knows?

For tracking, we'll get more more tracking thermometers, but better ones than we've been using in Allerton Abbey. We might end up hanging them down the well casing on bits of string. If we're well enough funded I'd like about a dozen so we can have one in the bottom of each well casing, one in each part of the trench, the planting beds, etc. It might also be good to bury a tracking thermometer in the mass.

It would be good to have better data sharing capacity so we can take screen shots and post them.

7. Assuming that this experiment is a success, what does that mean for the world?  

One thing we will have defined is a way to have a warm house in Montana without paying for heat.  We're in the middle of the testing for Allerton Abbey, our WOFATI house, which effectively uses a lot of the same ideas.  Since building that we now have more ideas for how to make it work.  

Right now for people in a cold climate, more than half of their carbon footprint comes from heating their home.  If they no longer need natural gas or electricity to heat their home that will have a major positive impact.  

In remote places you likely won't need a gas connection, or on-grid electricity.  Currently, solar panels and batteries are cheaper than a grid connection, if you're a long way from the grid, but could still be $20,000.  Solar panels and batteries also have lot of environmental impact from the mining and production, so they're not perfect. Take the heating out of the picture, then maybe instead of $20,000, all you need is a $3,000 system, or even less.  
What will be the impact? Lots of things that make life more comfortable for people and help solve some global problems.

Some people don't believe in the carbon footprint stuff, but cutting your heat bill from $3000 a year to zero? That's something most everyone will appreciate.

One main goal is a functional greywater system although we're not going to grow food using that greywater, it needs cleaning before it gets to anything like food.  Using the greenhouse as a food-growing system, like Mike Oehler's, to be able to grow food year round in a cold climate is a big benefit.  The more food can be grown where it's needed, the better.  

8. Why should someone give YOU their hard-earned cash versus all the other people and organisations out there?  

I think that the stuff that we're doing is more profound. For example there is a national organisation about energy and alternative energy, appropriate technology. I'm on their mailing list and got an email from them saying that there are people that had to choose between paying for their heat and buying food. They were trying to raise money to give to people to pay for their heat. I sent them an email, about all the ways they could heat themselves without any money at all. I had some ideas about their groceries, too!

I feel like a lot of non-profits are geared to that - they basically 'feed the monster' still.  They are going to give the money to the energy companies who are causing the problem.
If you support my kickstarter, not only do you get a LOT of stuff, but we can move this project forward. And it will have a profound reverberating effect. We're blazing new trail in the world of saving energy. This is huge stuff.

There are some magnificent non-profits out there that have been carefully documented where 90% of the money that you give them goes to the actual thing they're talking about. But it seems that in many cases a lot of the money goes to pay for the people that are in charge of or operating the non profit and to pay for the fundraisers, and very little goes to what they're trying to raise money for. If someone works for a non-profit and they're getting paid $80 000 a year, that person is profiting $80 000 a year.

The money we get from this kickstarter might possibly be better spent than money put into a non-profit.

If you ask someone like Jen, who has watched me here for a year, she'll tell you that I don't spend my money on anything other than things like food and tools to keep the bootcamp running and the experimentation and innovation I'm doing. If the kickstarter brings in a million dollars, I'd throw it all into the project here.

9. Assuming that this kickstarter does well, do you think you will do kickstarters for other experiments in the future?  

Yes!

It's been so exciting, and people have already been making suggestions for the next one.

The number one request is for the WOFATI freezer. Then there's the humus well, which wouldn't even take that long to build. We could also try to build a spring terrace, but you need to have bedrock. The lab doesn't have much bedrock, but basecamp does. It's a bit low on soil there, but if this kickstarter gets well enough funded, maybe we could keep the excavator and dumptruck running long enough to be able to import some of the soil from the lab.

10. How would somebody be able to participate in one of these experiments?  

The bootcamp. We say that the maximum number for the bootcamp is six, but then we don't count Fred, or maybe Jen and Josiah.There are currentlly two spots available.

Orin has only been here four months and has experienced a lot of roundwood timber framing, making a junkpole fence, getting the garden up and running and hugelculture building. So a lot of earthworking, a lot of gardening.
 
On the next hot day we're working on the cob floors in Allerton Abbey because it's always 20 degrees cooler in a WOFATI. And Jen would like floors.

If this kickstarter succeeds we'll be doing roundwood timber-framing, and all these other things.

There have been tons and tons of projects here and if a person comes out they can do tons of projects. We have two spaces, but if by some weird ass fluke four people showed up all on the same day, I think we'd be OK with that. We might have to scramble a bit...



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Paul Wheaton

(more pics and more bio-like stuff for paul can be found here)

Jennifer Richardson
Josiah Kobernik
Kyle Knight


Fred Tyler



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Interview points for Media

1. What will people get if they support your kickstarter?

At the $10 level the primary reward is the movie of the WOFATI greenhouse design, the build, and the testing.

The $100 level is the "sweet spot" with a bunch of other stuff including live interactive design sessions every Friday at 3 pm during the build. The primary players will sit in front of the laptop during this session. Part of the kickstarter money  will fund the equipment to do this and arrange internet at the lab.There will also be more informal sessions on Wednesdays at 3 pm.

There's a lot of stuff at the one dollar level and at the five dollar level. As with the other kickstarters, the rewards are very heavy. We've spent a lot of time trying to make them super sweet.  There's also a $25 reward level, and a $50 reward level which includes the plans.

2. Why are you offering so much stuff for people who are only supporting your kickstarter at the one dollar level?

If someone's supporting your kickstarter, it's an awesome show of trust. It's like saying "I know I'm not going to see this thing for four months or six months or something, but I have confidence in you. I want to support you. I want to support this project." And that's so cool.

Other people say to themselves "Oh Paul's gonna make this thing. I'll wait and see what the reviews are before deciding to buy it."

And I thought, "You know what, the person who supports my kickstarter, I like them a hundred times more than the person who waits." And so how do I express my gratitude to those people?

I kinda feel like candy is a great way of doing it.

Also, if for example 10 000 people support this kickstarter, that puts it at the top of kickstarter for a day, or a maybe week. And that gets the attention of a bunch of people who know nothing about permaculture.

And it ends up visible on kickstarter forever, so if people search and we show up and they see 'permaculture', so we're infecting brains again. It feeds my need to infect more brains.

And so I want to reward everyone who supports my kickstarter, even at the $1 level.

We're offering the full final wofati greenhouse movie for $10 supporters. At the $5 level we have several full movies, Paul's ebook., the two hour pond movie from World Domination Gardening, and the Building a Cob Style RMH movie.


3. This seems really different from your previous kickstarters. All your other kickstarters were for projects that were almost complete but you haven't even started building this one yet. Why the change?  

The WOFATI greenhouse project was intended to be part of “The Permaculture Technology Jamboree," which had to be cancelled when the pandemic happened. This frustrated a lot of people and eventually someone suggested that we do a Kickstarter for it.

It's true I prefer to have a project 90% done. That's the way I'm wired. So I feel nervous about this one because we don't have anything done yet other than some pretty good plans and lovely artwork.

I'm nervous about what might go wrong.  What if we're barely funded and we hit problems?  But then any time you do anything it's riddled to the gills with risks. So we're taking on those risks.  

If we get funded heavily it will smooth out any wrinkles.

Right now there's a lot of experiments we've done and they're under-documented because we ran out of money.

But if we do a kickstarter for each big innovation, all our projects here would be on a big rocket sled.   People would get to see the projects they want to see happen. They'd get to support them directly. And we'd be able to film them because we could afford to do that.

And so this one is different! I'm nervous and excited at the same time. I hope we get a big turnout for it.

4. How exactly is this greenhouse different from other greenhouses?  

We're doing seven things.

1: Trench. Instead of an 8ft ceiling, the floor is set 4ft deep in a trench. This reduces the amount of air in the greenhouse that needs to be heated at night-time so the plants don't die.

2: Earth berm on the north (polar) side. This gives insulation and thermal mass which holds heat. Glass lets out heat, so we reduce the amount of glass. We replace it with thermal mass and the temperature inside will be more even.

3: Trench under the floor. We dig down another 5ft below floor level so now the whole trench is 9ft deep with a wooden floor 5ft above the bottom of the trench. The temperature 9ft deep is much more constant - let's say it's about 50°F. In winter, really cold air will sink into the trench. Air warmed by the surrounding soil will rise out of the trench, through the floor. This circulation of air should keep the temperature in the greenhouse above freezing.

By doing these three things you have an Oehler style greenhouse. Many of the greenhouses that claim to be an Oehler greenhouse turn out to be missing one or two of those three things. The trench under the floor is the real genius of the Oehler greenhouse.

Oehler was able to grow tomatoes in December in his greenhouse, which was the prototype for his book. But I saw his greenhouse and it wasn't well sealed so the warm air leaked out and cold air leaked in. The Oehler type greenhouse would probably work pretty good at being truly passive if it was a little bit more air-tight. This was in north Idaho where it gets to 30 below freezing. Yet still, with that leaky thing, Oehler was growing tomatoes in December!

That's a hell of an achievement - but we can go further:

4: A de-stratification pipe. I think the temperatures in the greenhouse are going to be pretty even, until the sun shines. Then you're going to get this 140° air which will rise to the roof, and it's going to stay there. It's not going to exchange with the stuff in the trench because that's colder, and cold air stays low. When you've got a lot of sun, everyone who has a greenhouse says "you need to open your vents". That requires human discipline. Sure there are mechanical or electric automatic controls but then it's not passive, and worse, they can fail.

So I came up with a de-stratification pipe. It's a 1" pipe that goes from the bottom of the trench, runs up along the inside of the glass to near the roof. The top part inside the glass is anodized black, so the sun heats it and creates a thermo-siphon. This acts like a straw, sucking the cool air up from the bottom of the trench, creating some circulation which draws the hot air near the roof downwards.

This is part of the experiment. What temperature does the air end up getting to? If the de-stratification pipe is effective does that mean that the air at the top of the greenhouse goes from 140°F to perhaps 90°? We'll find out. I talked to Mike Oehler about this before he died and he said he believed it would work. Already people are suggesting a bigger pipe. Let's do two - one at 1" and one at 1.5" and see how they work.

5: Well casing. We'll install a 20-ft x 6" diameter well casing into the bottom of the trench, to go down maybe 19 feet, so the bottom of that well is about 28ft deep. This is based on a trick farmers use in cold climates to stop water troughs from freezing. The well casing is under the trough and warm air from 20ft down rises up and keeps it from freezing. We'll also put a de-stratification pipe down to the bottom of the well casing.

This also draws on John Hait's and Don Steven's work on passive geo-solar heating. Below 20ft down the temperature is typically more or less constant - surface temperature has no effect. Long-term we hope the well can be a heat source in winter and a heat sink in summer, using the circulation created by the de-stratification pipe. It'll probably take a few years to stabilize.

6: WOFATI element. We'll be drawing on our existing knowledge from the WOFATI house experiment where thick earthen berms and roof, and an umbrella, surround the structure. We're going to add deep earth berms to the east and west of the greenhouse, an umbrella below the glass to the south and a thick earthen roof over the top. The Oehler greenhouse had an earth berm on the north side so we're adding earthy stuff to three more places and an umbrella all the way around so we have way more thermal mass. The umbrella defines where we want to have the thermal mass - it's going to keep all that dirt dry.

7: Greywater system. This is where we began, we want a passive greywater system for Allerton Abbey, our WOFATI house experiment. It should run through the winter without freezing, because having the plumbing freeze sucks! Greywater tends to be warm and water holds temperature better than almost any other substance. The system will also carry warmth into the greenhouse, which might be significant.

Lets find out!

5. You're saying 'truly passive'. which implies that other greenhouses which say they are passive really aren't. Is that correct?

Yes.

There are some brilliant greenhouses that use a huge 7 amp fan to move hot air down a big pipe where the heat is stored in insulated dirt, then back up when it gets too cold.  But they are using electricity to run that fan, so it's still probably costing them $1500 a year to keep the greenhouse warm. You can't call that passive!

They're not using electricity or natural gas or even wood to make heat, but they are using electricity to run that big-ass fan.

What we're trying to do is truly passive..

6. What does success look like for this experiment? How are you going to measure the results?  

If the temperature stays over 40°F all winter without us having to go in there and monkey with anything, we have success.

If it stays above freezing the first winter and the plants don't die, then it's indicative that it will be successful in future years. It's possible that we won't have things perfect this year so we might have to go in and monkey with things. I can't help but think that if it's 35°F this year, it will be closer to 47°F next year. I'm hoping that it will be 55°F this year and 60°F next year, but who knows?

For tracking, we'll get more more tracking thermometers, but better ones than we've been using in Allerton Abbey. We might end up hanging them down the well casing on bits of string. If we're well enough funded I'd like about a dozen so we can have one in the bottom of each well casing, one in each part of the trench, the planting beds, etc. It might also be good to bury a tracking thermometer in the mass.

It would be good to have better data sharing capacity so we can take screen shots and post them.

7. Assuming that this experiment is a success, what does that mean for the world?  

One thing we will have defined is a way to have a warm house in Montana without paying for heat.  We're in the middle of the testing for Allerton Abbey, our WOFATI house, which effectively uses a lot of the same ideas.  Since building that we now have more ideas for how to make it work.  

Right now for people in a cold climate, more than half of their carbon footprint comes from heating their home.  If they no longer need natural gas or electricity to heat their home that will have a major positive impact.  

In remote places you likely won't need a gas connection, or on-grid electricity.  Currently, solar panels and batteries are cheaper than a grid connection, if you're a long way from the grid, but could still be $20,000.  Solar panels and batteries also have lot of environmental impact from the mining and production, so they're not perfect. Take the heating out of the picture, then maybe instead of $20,000, all you need is a $3,000 system, or even less.  
What will be the impact? Lots of things that make life more comfortable for people and help solve some global problems.

Some people don't believe in the carbon footprint stuff, but cutting your heat bill from $3000 a year to zero? That's something most everyone will appreciate.

One main goal is a functional greywater system although we're not going to grow food using that greywater, it needs cleaning before it gets to anything like food.  Using the greenhouse as a food-growing system, like Mike Oehler's, to be able to grow food year round in a cold climate is a big benefit.  The more food can be grown where it's needed, the better.  

8. Why should someone give YOU their hard-earned cash versus all the other people and organisations out there?  

I think that the stuff that we're doing is more profound. For example there is a national organisation about energy and alternative energy, appropriate technology. I'm on their mailing list and got an email from them saying that there are people that had to choose between paying for their heat and buying food. They were trying to raise money to give to people to pay for their heat. I sent them an email, about all the ways they could heat themselves without any money at all. I had some ideas about their groceries, too!

I feel like a lot of non-profits are geared to that - they basically 'feed the monster' still.  They are going to give the money to the energy companies who are causing the problem.
If you support my kickstarter, not only do you get a LOT of stuff, but we can move this project forward. And it will have a profound reverberating effect. We're blazing new trail in the world of saving energy. This is huge stuff.

There are some magnificent non-profits out there that have been carefully documented where 90% of the money that you give them goes to the actual thing they're talking about. But it seems that in many cases a lot of the money goes to pay for the people that are in charge of or operating the non profit and to pay for the fundraisers, and very little goes to what they're trying to raise money for. If someone works for a non-profit and they're getting paid $80 000 a year, that person is profiting $80 000 a year.

The money we get from this kickstarter might possibly be better spent than money put into a non-profit.

If you ask someone like Jen, who has watched me here for a year, she'll tell you that I don't spend my money on anything other than things like food and tools to keep the bootcamp running and the experimentation and innovation I'm doing. If the kickstarter brings in a million dollars, I'd throw it all into the project here.

9. Assuming that this kickstarter does well, do you think you will do kickstarters for other experiments in the future?  

Yes!

It's been so exciting, and people have already been making suggestions for the next one.

The number one request is for the WOFATI freezer. Then there's the humus well, which wouldn't even take that long to build. We could also try to build a spring terrace, but you need to have bedrock. The lab doesn't have much bedrock, but basecamp does. It's a bit low on soil there, but if this kickstarter gets well enough funded, maybe we could keep the excavator and dumptruck running long enough to be able to import some of the soil from the lab.

10. How would somebody be able to participate in one of these experiments?  

The bootcamp. We say that the maximum number for the bootcamp is six, but then we don't count Fred, or maybe Jen and Josiah.There are currentlly two spots available.

Orin has only been here four months and has experienced a lot of roundwood timber framing, making a junkpole fence, getting the garden up and running and hugelculture building. So a lot of earthworking, a lot of gardening.
 
On the next hot day we're working on the cob floors in Allerton Abbey because it's always 20 degrees cooler in a WOFATI. And Jen would like floors.

If this kickstarter succeeds we'll be doing roundwood timber-framing, and all these other things.

There have been tons and tons of projects here and if a person comes out they can do tons of projects. We have two spaces, but if by some weird ass fluke four people showed up all on the same day, I think we'd be OK with that. We might have to scramble a bit...

 
Nicole Alderman
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I just cropped Tracy's image so it works for facebook!
wofati-greenhouse-kickstarter-image-v9-facebook-copy.jpg
Tracy's fun graphic!
Tracy's fun graphic!
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
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Banner ideas, right? One with the same graphic but winter outside.

Or

"A truly passive greenhouse even in the winter in Montana and still no electricity not even a fan. Or the Force. Or minions."

"The only fan in this greenhouse is a fan of not paying any money fr electricity. or solar panels. Or minions."

 
Bihai Il
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Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:Banner ideas, right? One with the same graphic but winter outside.

Or

"A truly passive greenhouse even in the winter in Montana and still no electricity not even a fan. Or the Force. Or minions."


I second mentioning the winter angle. A winter graphic would be effective.

Maybe "For Cold Climates!" or "Grow in the Snow!!"
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