Our Little Thing - Creating A Sustainable Lifestyle In Patagonia

Creación de un estilo de vida sostenible en Patagonia  パタゴニアでサステイナブルな暮らし作り

New Pit Style Greenhouse, Turf Wall and Garden Terraces.

We're building a new greenhouse, hoping to grow Watermelons and Canteloupes, rare things here in Patagonia. We have dug down into the earth on one of the terraces we created last year and have built up a turf wall to insulate and hide the structure from the road at the foot of our land. In front of the wall you can see the new terraces we're creating when digging up the turf for the wall. The soil here is rich and black and we're going to be planting it with nitrogen fixing Lupins to make a good soil for later cultivation.

Building into a hillside is the easiest way to go when creating a 'lean to' pit style greenhouse, but it's still back breaking work moving all the earth. A lot of it has gone into our earthbags for future use as a connecting wall to the house. The richest earth has been piled off to the side, to be used as the growing medium in the greenhouse.

The roof for now will be a roll up UV treated polythene sheet, to release excess heat when the summer comes along. Eventually a more permanent roof will be fitted. We are calling our new greenhouse the 'Minipini' as it is based on the much deeper Walapini's that are used in the high mountains of Bolivia, where Bananas can be grown even in mid winter. Watermelons and Cantaloupes do not grow tall, so we do not need such a deep structure... as you can see by the photograph with Konomi, it will only be around 140 centimeters deep at the highest point.

That's why we want the removable roof, easy to get in and out when watering and caring. In front there will be a turf wall and more terraced gardens. Lots of digging today, but really enjoyed it. 

As an added bonus a flock of brilliant green Parrots stopped for a while in the trees at the back of our land. Lovely site that was soon followed by a very large Hare that meandered on past our front window without a care in the world.


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Comment by Paul Canosa on August 30, 2012 at 8:43am

Wasn't aware of the "Walapini".

Was wondering if someone can recommend a good book for NPK plant optimization, ie which plants utilize N and deposit K. I have done a bit of reading on crop rotation and Charles Townshend but would love a quality source book for reference.

Comment by Steven Ross on August 30, 2012 at 7:35am

The soil looks good and deep there... I enjoy receiving your posts!

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