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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Strawbale Coldframes -- Taos Style

I've built two cold frames in the backyard using strawbales and large (48" x 48") sheets of tempered glass I found that had been used for solar panels. The panes are large enough that I was concerned about them becoming airborne should the wind hit them just right, so I secured them with bungee cords.

I have one end of the bungee hooked onto the orange plastic twine that holds the bale together, and the other end is hooked onto the edge of the glass. Since the glass is very heavy, I have a stump set up to hold one panel, and a space bale to hold up the other.

To allow for ventilation during the peak sun hours I have a couple of fence-post ends to help prop the panels of glass open.

The second frame I built doesn't have dirt in it yet, but I am cooking a layer of horse manuer and compost at the bottom. In theory, it should keep the frame warmer in the cold months because of the "hot" manuer and because of the decomposing matter in the compost. Already the temperature difference between the two can be felt with the bare hand.

EPILOGUE: It's April 2, 2006 and the first crop's harvest has come to a close. I'd been meaning to photograph the excellent lettuce and greens we'd been eating out of the garden, and because I finally got a decent camera, I decided to snap a pic, even though the crop is going to seed. Though it took several months to grow, it stayed alive through many sub-zero nights and though I tried to be diligent, I left the frames open all night a few times. That didn't seem to phase this hardy crop, and the stawbale coldframes have come through with verdant success.


  • At 4:03 PM , Blogger BnB said...

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  • At 4:03 PM , Blogger Joseph said...

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