Seven Reasons I Like…Building Our Greenhouse
A greenhouse is a great addition to your homestead and your homeschool–for so many reasons!
You can involve the whole family in growing food for your home all year around! Gardening is a way to bring the family together, and to bring more satisfaction to your family. After all–eating the fruit of our labor is something God has granted us, although He did say it would be work!
I have listed seven of my favorite reasons to build a greenhouse on your homestead!
Seven Things I Like about Building our Greenhouse:
1. Growing local/eating local. It doesn’t get any more local than your own backyard!!Plus, you get greens in the cool months! I love having an abundance of healthy greens and veggies when we can’t have a regular garden! The older I get, the more I notice that my body needs fiber and those good plant vitamins!
2. Building the greenhouse itself. –It’s a great Homeschool project. Our boys literally built the entire greenhouse! A little input from Dad about specific things he wanted, but largely, the boys had to figure out how to get it up!
3. Growing food in the greenhouse–it’s another wonderful homeschool and family project. Preparing the soil, working together, patience, communication, trial and error, victory, perseverance, and even failure–there are many lessons that can be learned while operating a greenhouse.
(last year, our boys started up a greenhouse mini business with some friends. They did well, and I miss eating all of that kale! See Guys Growing Greens)
4. Hands-on Science! Botany, biology, entomology (bugs), soil science, seed saving, and more can all be learned by immersion in the greenhouse year-round.
5. Business and math. If you choose to make a business out of your greenhouse crops, this is an excellent way to learn practical accounting and customer service. Our boys did this with friends last winter, and it was a great lesson in responsibility too! Nothing like leaving on water in the freezing cold weather and seeing the results of that on the frozen pipes. Or forgetting to water and witnessing your crops die. There’s no teacher like experience!
6. It’s fun! And So Satisfying! I love planting, harvesting and preparing freshly picked vegetables and herbs.
7. A green getaway! Aside from growing anything, the greenhouse is just a nice haven to escape to when the weather is nasty! Go into your little warm oasis and you’ll never want to leave! Sometimes we like to just take chairs inside and sit a spell.
Our Little Greenhouse
In the past, we have had very large greenhouses, an asymmetrical greenhouse, and small hoop houses. My husband even built a commercial-grade and sized greenhouse at our first house and free tomatoes year-round! They were amazing, by the way!
This greenhouse will be for starting seeds early in the Spring and for growing through the Winter months. It’s not huge, but not tiny! I believe the dimensions are 30x 36. Large enough to plant anything we want for our family, and hopefully, plenty to share!
We finished our small greenhouse last week. Got the ends framed and closed in and the doors built. We still plan to add a wood-burning stove to help the little plants along, but we have already begin transplanting little lettuce and kale plants inside!
I encourage you to do something, wherever you are, to grow food for your family. It may be a small or large greenhouse, but it could also be something as simple as a small grow box that you can cover in the cold months, or an unheated hoophouse. You’d be surprised how much winter food you can grow in a small cold frame.
You also don’t have to homeschool to make your own greenhouse. But if you do, getting your kids involved in the food growing is a great way to instill a love of plants and growing! You might just end up with another George Washington Carver! Or someone like my husband, who putters in the greenhouse for fun and dreams of how he can order more seeds!
I hope you can make a little or big greenhouse for your own home and school! Get the kids involved, and let them choose some seeds to plant. They will enjoy eating what they help to grow and care for! And you will too!
In the Meantime…
Maybe you can’t build your own greenhouse just yet! But you still want you’d kids to learn about growing on a hands-on way! There are tons of ways to incorporate greenhouse growing in your school!
Greenhouse Projects for Kids
We’ve used science kits from this company, and our youngest, hands-on science kid, enjoys them. They just give a peek into the greenhouse world, to whet their appetites for growing!
For the older kids, and as great read-alouds, I’ve included a few biographies on the life of George Washington Carver. This is just one example of how you could include history and English into a unit study, encompassing many subjects, but all tied into greenhouse growing. We enjoy this type of learning!
For the adults and those serious about leaning about the right way to grow in a greenhouse, you can’t beat the classic Eliot Coleman books on greenhouse growing. These are the backbone of my husband’s greenhouse (addiction) inspiration! If you can get only one book, make it one of his!
And the shirt? Well…I think that’ll be a gift for somebody I know around here!
Have a great time learning and building your own greenhouse—or whatever you can do in your home!