Underground Greenhouse - the Walipini

By Noetic14 on Sun, Dec 29, 2013 - 5:50pm

The Walpini is an underground greenhouse which requires little or no heating and whose plans are available online at no cost. Developed in the Andes mountains, the concept might be appropriate for high altitude areas of the United States if appropriate translucent roof panels could be found to withstand the weight of heavy snows.  Marauding wild bears might also be an insurmountable problem.  http://www.treehugger.com/green-architecture/build-underground-greenhouse-garden-year-round.html  I am seeking input from fellow members.


Cherihuka's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 18 2012
Posts: 41
It should be in every yard!

Thanks Noetic14 for sharing the link. I'd seen a few sketches of these and some that were a lot more complex looking - this is a lot more 'user-friendly' looking! 

I just happened to see someone in a typical subdivision area making a 3-sided shed with 4 separate enclosures -like goat stalls, totally out of pallets (on youtube) this morning (one was for laying in a store of firewood, one was for composting, etc.) Long sentence, sorry. Anyway, when finished, he topped each section off with a section of what looked like fiberglass roofing. It would be cheaper than metal roofing (and better looking than the 'tin' roofing stuff -also NO rusting and won't cut easily.) He used both clear (opaque) panels and black ones. Sorry I don't have a link - it was youtube thru the TV.

Since I live in bear/snow country and have two greenhouses that have yet to be used for plants rather than chickens (temporarily), and now bees (bees in the greenhouse after 2 bear attacks), I have to say I would feel pretty good about using the underground Walpini!!

I have heard that there is NOTHING that's bear proof except a train car. 

I think it would help to enclose the roof area with some chain link fence (if you could afford it), or other fencing AND/or a couple of large dogs or some kind of alarm system (bells that jingle and alert dogs somewhere else, or a (solar-powered) motion-sensor cam, or something like that). 

Something affordable and do-able like the Walpini could really save lives... thanks again for sharing it.

Noetic14's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 29 2013
Posts: 8
Underground Greenhouse

Thanks for your comment.  I like the idea of watchdogs if the bears wouldn't kill them.  The bears have already swiped a hole in an RV we have parked on the land.  My son thinks building the greenhouse would be simple enough - especially if he could incorporate an existing gully.  Eventually he'll live there full time.  Although we have freeze dried food and the elk hunting is good, we'll also need a garden.  Fortunately we have a seasonal creek and a pond for irrigation.  Water is extremely important as the area is fairly dry, although it supports Ponderosa, a few Firs, and Aspen in the drainage areas.  When my son moves to the land he'll have a couple of Yaks.  As they have ample fur hanging all the way to the ground, they can tolerate 9,200' altitude.  They can winter over by eating snow, and have horns to defend themselves.  They're a natural for that altitude and in our research we have already visited one Yak ranch here in Colorado.   We see no obstacle to keeping them - except for the danger from bears and mountain lions!!  

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