Greenhouse in the Snow
A geo-thermal greenhouse developed by a retired mail carrier outside of Alliance is drawing attention from buyers around the country.
We caught up with business owner Russ Finch about his greenhouse recently. "The geo-thermal part helps in the summer cooling it, and in the winter, we can use it just to keep the interior above 28 degrees," Finch said. "Our ground temperature in Alliance, and in about all of the lower 48 states is around 52 degrees. So we can recirculate that 52 degree air through the greenhouse just to keep it above the 28 degrees. Usually, it can be 45 in here in the winter without sun. With sun, in dead of winter, it can get up to 85 degrees."
During our visit, we toured Finch's original greenhouse, which is now 28 years old. For 18 years, he says it was a hobby. But then he got into selling the plans, and then the structure itself. "I have partners in Allen and Lisa Bright, and we fabricate all of the frame," Finch said. The Alliance man's company is selling the greenhouses around the country. "We have 89 of them now all over the U.S. and Canada, northern England, and a company out of France is going to sell them all over Europe."
Finch says he grows a lot of flowers in the greenhouse. "Roses do really well in here," Finch said. "Other than that, we can grow anything up to the true hot weather tropicals. We have figs, grapes, and 13 varieties of citrus." People use the greenhouses for commercial use. "We have taken the cost of energy completely out of the equation. This one takes 85-cents a day for heating and cooling year round. Some of the greenhouses are getting up to a $1.25 per day for energy because they are using more grow lights and fans." The greenhouses could be extra income for someone who lives on a farm or acreage. Some people who use the greenhouses, grow produce for farmers markets.
If you would like to know more information about this unique greenhouse, check out Finch's website at greenhouseinthesnow.com.