Covering, discovering

Estufas, usually cylindrically shaped greenhouses constructed of a frame of iron tubes with a covering of plastic foil, are common in this area. They protect crops from too much heat in summer and the heavy rains in winter. Our domes are spherical but otherwise constructed from the same materials. Today most of the foil covering was mounted, stapled onto wooden laths that are tie-wrapped to the tubes.

Meanwhile in the garden a little Buddha was discovering our strawberry fields and the peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, honey melons and beans that we are harvesting now. He is the son of Kinga, a new participant from Hungary. Also part of Ananda’s gardening team today: Pragati from Holland who wants to discover communities. She transformed our produce into a delicious dinner.

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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Wendy said,

    Nice to read good things about Pragati.
    Give her a hug from me please.

    • 2

      Osho's Garden said,

      Hi Rick. Thank you for your comment. Maybe we have been just lucky but we had no more problems than a few staples coming loose occasionally and re-stapling the plastic took care of that. Actually I am amazed to see how well the dome shape handles wind, because several other tents were blown away while the domes seemed unaffected. One factor may be that I took care to make the entries only facing south-east. Strong winds here are usually from westerly directions, so this way they create a vacuum in the dome rather than blowing it up. I heard from friends nearby who had their dome cover blown away when they left a west-facing entry open. I agree with you that covering with polycarbonate sheets would be too expensive and indeed difficult to get the seams waterproof. We covered one structure with 0.5 mm clear PVC foil, welded with a hot air tool. But nothing beats this simple and fast method of stapling cheap thin foil. We use the yellowish variety that has good UV resistance, and in summer it can be shaded with the green shade fabric, for some applications all year and this fabric is very strong so it also protects the plastic foil against wind damage. Good luck with your projects and keep me posted when you experience something new!
      Pujari

  2. 3

    Rick said,

    Hello,
    Many years ago I had built a small wooden geodesic dome frame and covered it in plastic much like yours. When the wind blew even lightly the plastic would balloon up, recede, balloon up, recede, over and over like it was trying to inflate repeatedly. Even with large openings for venting this occurred creating an unbearable noisiness. Did you experience this phenomenon? Very recently because of seeing and visiting great sites like yours I have a renewed interest in building a dome vegetable greenhouse for my wife and I. That is if expenses will permit it or else I will have to wait. I can not afford glazing with polycarbonate and will go with the greenhouse poly which can last up to 5 years or more. Because of my past experience with my dome I am looking for a conducive methodology for covering a greenhouse dome that will not balloon up and suffer wind vibration causing holes to form in the plastic. The sites I have visited where some attached a cut out poly covering in separate pieces overlapping seams as they went and attaching it with staples were not satisfied with the result. Another method I have been looking at involved covering individual triangles with poly, stapling over the edges and then using a heat gun to shrink the poly creating a drum tight appearance. Then all the triangles are bolted together from underneath to form the dome. Sometimes a cluster of triangles are covered all at once which would save a little on labor. This of course would stop wind vibration but is very very labor intensive and then after you erect the dome you will have many leaks because of all the seams. Even silicone caulk will not stick to the overlapping poly. A no win scenario if you are also wanting to store things in your dome that needs to be kept dry. If there was a way to seal these seams it would be probably the way to go. I am hoping someone someday will have a solution for this problem and share it with us. Your dome looks great and if I was ever going for a geodesic dome greenhouse I would use the same configuration as yours as it covers the most ground space using materials economically. It is beautiful to look at as well. I am enjoying your blog and hope you will continue to share your growing experiences. God, bless! 🙂


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