Greenhouse Design and Management: A Permaculture Perspective. Special Monday Intensive Workshop with Jerome Osentowski

Jerome Osentowski, Founder & Director, Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute, is author of “The Forest Garden Greenhouse – How to Design and Manage an Indoor Permaculture Oasis, the foremost book on permaculture greenhouses. Jerome has extensive experience with greenhouse growing at 7200’ in the Colorado Rockies. He has created tropical and Mediterranean climates and plantings in his greenhouses. He invented a climate-battery heating system which he will talk about at the workshop.

Jerome is in Hot Springs for the Inland Northwest Permaculture Convergence and will stick around for an additional day to offer this special workshop.

September 4, Monday
10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Hot Springs, MT

The workshop will be based around designing the Mother Greenhouse project in Hot Springs. The goal being an educational and production greenhouse for the Salish & Kootenai Confederated Tribes using geothermal water on tribal land. The project currently has a hoophouse but it needs a plan. Jerome will do power point presentations on greenhouse management so the workshop will be valuable for anyone interested in greenhousing. Part of the workshop will be held at the Mother Greenhouse project by the old tribal bathhouse and part will be at a nearby indoor venue.

Workshop fee: $50.

Free to tribal members.

To reserve a space contact Michael Pilarski at


Check out Jerome’s website:

Here is a youtube where he shows off some of his Colorado greenhouses.

Jerome Osentowski lives in a passive solar home he built at 7200 feet above Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley. Director and founder of Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute and a permaculture designer for thirty years, he has built five greenhouses for himself and scores of others for private clients and public schools in the Rockies and beyond. He makes his living from an intensively cultivated one acre of indoor and outdoor forest garden and plant nursery, which he uses as a backdrop for intensive permaculture and greenhouse design courses. Among his accomplishments is hosting the longest-running Permaculture Design Course in the world, now at twenty-nine years running.

2017 Inland Northwest Permaculture Convergence – Sept 1-3 – Hot Springs, MT

Join us at the 2017 INPC:

September 1-3, 2017, Good food, good people, sharing skills and knowledge, Learn about solutions for the things that ail us and our planet.  Yes there are hot springs full of mineral water to soak in too.  Hope to see you there.

SolarGreen.House you tube channel

To see the video series of the construction of our earthbag, earthbermed, solar aquaponic greenhouse with climate battery and living terraces, you can visit our YouTube Channel here:

We believe investing in high quality, chemical free plant-based food locally grown in our own back yard, is the best investment we can make in our own health and well being.  Diana and I transitioned abut seven years ago to a primarily whole food, plant-based diet and we found most of our health problems simply went away.  We both lost weight and our blood work documented our improved health.  We both have more energy and now our food is our medicine.

Since I love to garden and Diana is an awesome plant-based cook, we decided that a year round growing space for fruit and veggie production made a lot of sense.  We still have a bit of work to do to get this project finished and plant our first crop, but we are coming down the home stretch.  I am building the trough system in the floor for the aquaponic rafts and will be installing the rainwater collection barrels next.  Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel or tune in later if you want to see the completion and operation of the greenhouse.

Come and see us at Free the Seeds – March 4 @ FVCC

20170212_115458FREE THE SEEDS – 2nd annual free seed and start “Fair”

Real Seeds, Real Food, Real Skills

Location: Flathead Valley Community College, Arts and Technology Building, 777 Grandview Drive, Kalispell, MT

When: Saturday, March 4 2017, 8am – 3:30pm

Kid-friendly activities (ages 8 & up)

Seed Swap: Room 144A/B 8am – 12 noon

Bring and share your untreated, non-GMO, open-pollinated seeds (bought or saved), starts, cuttings or scions!


February 2017 Pics

Jerome Osentowski, Eco Systems Design, Inc.

I wanted to share this link to Jerome Osentowski’s company, Eco Systems Design, inc.

This site has a wealth of information on climate battery design.  Also lots of good info on greenhouse and solar home design, permaculture, forest gardens and edible school yards!  Check out the beautiful artichokes growing in the school garden.

Also check out his book: The Forest Garden Greenhouse: How to Design and Manage an Indoor Permaculture Oasis

Nearly ready for the polycarbonate.

exterior roof-framingOn Saturday, Walter and I wrapped the exterior of the earthbag walls with 2″ blueboard insulation (R-10) and our next step will be to add the ventilation system for the roof on the two north rooms.  We are venting this roof with cold outdoor air so that we won’t have any mold issues inside the roof system.  Once the venting system is in we’ll wrap it with Delta MS and backfill.  That’s this weeks goal.  Last Thursday, Jim Ponaski gave us a hand for the day and we got all the purlins up on the roof, so we are now ready for the polycarbonate roofing material.

Framing to windows and roof

grnhseWe framed in the windows and doors in the grow room last weekend.  There are steel 2″x2″ purlins that we will install at 3′-0″ on center over the beams.  greenhouse-windowsHere you can see the windows being installed and the roof beams completed.  Also we are installing the 2″ blueboard insulation on the outside of the earthbags.  We cut a slight angle on the top of the blue foam board to support the flashing for drainage.  After the blueboard we installed a product called Delta MS over that.  See product brochure at:   Then after the Delta MS was installed we flashed over that with metal angle and a drip edge.

The idea here is to insulate around the exterior of the thermal mass and protect the earthbags from ground moisture so they will maintain their structural integrity and retain heat within the building envelope.  Since we insulated under the floor also, then placed the 4″ perf pipes and drain rock for the climate battery in 2′ of thermal mass in the floor, and now are insulating on the exterior of the 15″ thick earthen walls on the exterior we are creating a thermal break so all this mass will hold the heat that the sun provides in the building walls and floor.  The double pane glass windows and and polycarbonate roof are the parts with a poor R-value so we minimized them by sinking the floor 3′ into the ground and the back rooms where the fish and equipment will live will be bermed under the ground and fully insulated on the exterior of the earthen walls as well.

This weekend coming up we plan to frame the roof over the north rooms.  The fish/equipment and seed starting room and the root cellar roof.  Stay tuned!