By N. R. Mallery
Healthy eating while keeping food local can be a challenge here in the northeast, after harvest season turns into winter. Beyond this, the reality that climate change and our unpredictable weather patterns will again wreak disasters upon us similar to hurricane
Irene is real. The IPCC report of Sept. 25th, confirmed that we need to prepare for this future scenario. What if your town or home or neighborhood was stranded without access to a local grocery store? Will you be prepared?
A local business offers a great solution that will allow you to grow your own food all year round and likely through disasters. Vermont Victory Greenhouses survived Irene, when others did not.
Located in Cornwall, Vermont Victory Greenhouse is a family business, owned and operated by Jonathan & Kim Hescock. They started building greenhouses in 2009 as an off shoot of their existing construction company, Golden Ruler Construction, which gave them their extensive experience in home building, interior/exterior renovations, and painting.
Greenhouses and gardening have a long history in the Hescock Family. Jonathan and Kim have over 60 years of combined experience in gardening. It has become a mainstay for the entire family, providing both outdoor enjoyment and a steady supply of food throughout the year.
This includes actually growing vegetables & plants, as well as an escape during our long winters and days of inclement weather. Imagine, on a cold windy March day, being able to retreat into a warm, sun-filled, green environment to harvest greens, read a book or transplant basil. Imagine being able to pick fresh lettuce, radishes, or spinach every day of the year, eating tomatoes until the holidays, and enjoying cucumbers by May – with the snow piling up and wind blowing outside your door! These structures are year-round greenhouses that work in northern climes.
Heat gathered from sunlight is stored in the concrete floor, which doubles as a heat sink, and retained by double glazing in the walls and roof. This provides a slow, steady release of the day’s heat into the greenhouse throughout the night. By connecting your greenhouse space to your home. your heating requirements can be greatly reduced. Jonathan does point out that, “Having heat sinks and other devices all help, but to avoid a freeze in the worst of weather its important to have some sort of backup heater. Of course those attached to houses simply use the heat from the house and with the sun the greenhouse more than returns the heat”. In the case of a well insulated workshop or garage, where 55-60º is a sufficient working temperature, the heat from the greenhouse is often enough even in the middle of winter.
Each energy efficient Vermont Victory Greenhouse is custom-built to stand alone or attach to another building. Features include a rugged spruce permanent wood frame that is built with standard construction methods. The framing is independent of the polycarbonate walls that are extremely durable and will not shatter or crack like traditional glass. The 8 mil thick polycarbonate is double layered, giving it twice the “R” insulation value of single pane glass, and provides a diffused sunlight.
An ingenious thermally operated cylinder controls the opening and closing of the vents, maintaining the correct temperature in the greenhouse. Other features that make these greenhouses work independently are the automatic battery-powered drip watering systems, irrigation benches, and solar powered interior ventilation. The unique interior venting allows heat, oxygen rich air and fragrance to pour into an adjoining building automatically on any sunny day. Custom tables are equipped for bench top irrigation, and custom shelves provide a sturdy, beautiful and practical solution for growing plants and vegetables.
If a “full” garden before gardening season sounds good to you, it might be time to think about investing in one of these beautiful, efficient greenhouses for yourself. It is an investment towards a sustainable future. www.vermontvictorygreenhouses.com