Ecosystem Greenhouse Workshop

The Garden Project of Southwest Colorado is sponsoring a two day workshop on design, construction and management of greenhouses for year-round food production.  Taught by Jerome Osentowski, founder of the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute (CRMPI) and architect, Michael Thompson, this workshop in Basalt, Colorado will introduce you to an innovative geo-solar design that allows you to grow crops during the coldest Colorado winters.  This design is suitable for small backyard gardeners or large-scale organic farmers.


Our sunny climate generates a lot of solar energy that can be used to heat a greenhouse even when outdoor temperatures fall below zero. The excess heat that builds up near the ceiling of a greenhouse during the day can be channeled underground through inexpensive plastic tubing and stored in the thermal mass of the soil. This warmed earth then heats the greenhouse throughout the night.

This type of system is called a "climate battery".  In the summer it has the opposite effect, acting like an air conditioning system to cool the greenhouse.  This cutting edge technology is simple and affordable.  It allows the greenhouses at CRMPI to grow tropical crops such as papaya, banana, tomato, peppers and figs at 7200 ft. elevation year round.  For more detailed information and to view a video on this subject visit or click on


WHAT:  Greenhouse Workshop and Tour
WHERE:  Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute, Basalt, CO 
WHEN:  Friday and Saturday, April 12-13
COST:  $205 with limited enrollment.  With full enrollment (12 attendees) the cost would be $155. The more attendees (up to 12) the cheaper the price.
CONTACT:  Frank LeBeau at  or call (970) 903-8120
  • We will car pool from Durango
  • We will most likely leave late afternoon Thursday. It is about a 5 hour drive to Basalt
  • Affordable lodging is available in nearby Basalt, Aspen, Carbondale, or Glenwood Springs or free camping at the Institute
  • They will serve us breakfast and lunch 
  • Dinner (soup and salad) can be provided at an additional fee
  • We will be back early evening on Saturday.
Day 1
How to design the greenhouse for maximum energy efficiency
  • Spacing, depth and direction of underground tubing size and location of fans
  • Use of additional thermal mass storage such as water walls or gravel beds 
  • Back up heating for extended cloudy weather

How to design the frame structure
  • Best and most cost-effective building materials for frame - wood or metal? 
  • Best and most cost-effective glazing - glass, polycarbonate, greenhouse film? 
  • Height and pitch of roof 
  • Dimensions, best floor plans for maximizing production 
  • End walls, doors, and ventilation Insulation

Cultivation of crops
  • Raised beds or in-ground? 
  • Design and layout of beds 
  • Special considerations for greenhouse production - pest control, humidity, fertility
Day 2
Greenhouse tours: 
  • Greenhouses at CRMPI
  • 3 additional greenhouses in the Roaring Fork Valley - geodesic dome structure at high school, commercial vegetable farm, and tilapia farm




 We look forward to having you join us for this exciting workshop event!


April 12, 2013 at 8am - April 13, 2013
Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute (CRIMPI)
Basalt, CO
United States
Google map and directions
Frank LeBeau · · (970) 903-8120
$205.00 USD
Maren Bosley

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  • Maren Bosley
    rsvped +1 2020-02-03 10:30:45 -0700