New growth from old things

Thanks to Farmer Gwen!

This article was published on Dec. 10, 2019.

The old greenhouse on the main campus of the Sorrento Retreat and Conference Centre has done loyal service for many years, but there were a few cracks and other signs of age. Our new farmer, Gwen Dell’Anno, has worked hard in the past few days to clear out the tired shelving and other things stacked in the old greenhouse – and she has started work on a new organic heat transfer system to bring new life to the old greenhouse.

Once the old greenhouse is snug against the winter cold (some new insulation, and bit of a tuck and a tightening here and there), then the greenhouse will be heated from a compost pile that Farmer Gwen is building. She is mixing layers of wood chips and chicken manure that will generate heat as the natural products compost. The heat will be captured in piping that will run through the compost heap and connect into the greenhouse. Yes, there is a bit of a smell as the fresh manure is placed in the pile, but the smell will quickly waft away leaving warm, generous and natural heat for our greenhouse. 

We hope to use a similar system for the bigger greenhouse under construction at our natural farm.

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