In trying to figure out how to keep our greenhouse heating costs down, I thought I'd investigate a couple of ways of increasing the night time temps of the space. Previously, I blogged about how our greenhouse benches (aka tables) sit on barrels filled with water. The idea was that the barrels would absorb heat from the sun during the day and exude it at night.
Then I thought of a way to add a little extra something something. I looked around the farm and realized that this old orchard box would fit perfectly underneath a bench and inside of the barrels. Hmmmm, let's get seven more of these boxes. John, or master composter and our worm-keeper, sprang into action and arranged to bring me enough bins.
Filling the large boxes with fresh manure would start the decomposition process, and heat up. The mass will give off much-needed warmth for the time it takes to decompose. Since I'm only heating my greenhouse for a couple of months while I propagate and grow on tomato seedlings, I figure by the time the masses cool off, I won't need the supplemental heat anymore. At least that's this season's experiment.
Daniel, my excellent volunteer, has been endlessly patient positioning these giant bins in place and moving the manure into them.
We needed as much compression of the manure into the bins as we could get, so we put our newest volunteer, Sarah, to work stomping on it. I'm glad she took me seriously when I told her to show up with rubber boots.
Once completely topped off with manure, we repositioned the bench tops. Now they're ready to accept our young plants, help warm up the greenhouse, and definitely exude that fragrant "je ne sais quoi" that will keep people wrinkling their noses a bit upon entering.