What I did on my homestead while it was zero fahrenheit

What I did on my homestead while it was zero fahrenheit

This morning the temperature dropped as low as 0° F. I was planning on completing my Berkey style water filter build today but it was just so cold.  I had to get creative to stay busy today.  

Frugal off grid Arizona High Desert pond below zero Fahrenheit

It dawned on me how much warmer it should be in the geothermal greenhouse.  I finally installed a large enough system to keep the fans and aquaponics system running 24/7. While it was 0° outside, it was 20° inside the geo. 

High desert geothermal greenhouse temperature regulated off grid

Although it's cold as hell today, I think this will be the last of the real cold nights.  I think we'll stay in the 20s and 30s going forward for the most part so I have been planning to start some seeds.  I already have several starts I direct sowed in the geo and I planted many more seeds a week ago but I want to start more seeds and push the boundaries by trying to get some to sprout that shouldn't be planted until spring.  

Grow tent starting seeds geothermal greenhouse

I really enjoyed my day, setting this grow tent up.  It was so comfortable and warm in there, while it was really cold and covered in snow outside.  

Simple cheap grow tent shelve

I decided to whip up a really simple, scrap material shelf that would tightly fit my seed trays so I could easily open the tent and spray them down.  

Grow tent shelf for starting seeds

These 9 trays are capable of starting 441 seeds. I loaded them up with my compost pile that's been breaking down a long time now.  There's even biochar in there.  

Frugal off grid homemade soil for seed starts

While I set it all up I set packets on each row to remember what I planted, where.  I did a full tray of green beans and one of carrots.  I mixed a tray with cosmos, nasturtiums and zenias.  One tray is black seed lettuce, spinach and red romaine.  I planted a tray of herbs, cilantro, parsley, oregano and bunching onions.  I made a tray of black locust trees and moringa.  One tray for pea flower and rose.  And a mixed tray of fruit, cantaloupe, honey dew, watermelon, and paya. I'm probably missing something.  I listed them from memory.  

450 seed starts

When I was finished planting all the seeds I drew a simple diagram of the grow tent and trays then labeled each tray with the seeds I planted.  

Frugal off grid garden journal

It was nice to feel like I was working on a spring day while it was so cold out.  I'm really looking forward to seeing the geothermal and aquaponics thrive this year. 

Leave me a comment if you have any questions or want to share what you've been starting for your spring garden.  

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Good morning Alex! Yea, it surprised me how well just PC fans work. There will be a lot of detail on this in my video that I’m publishing this morning. I do have a much more powerful fan on the way but the PC fans work.

Frugal Off Grid

I like that you did a push-pull scheme on geothermal vents. That’s how I did cooler fans on some medical device housings that I designed. Works great.


Hi Tiffany! You could definitely build an earth home that would function the same way. Creating a geothermal temperature system and having a large window on the southern side of the home.

Frugal Off Grid

Sounds like a great snowy day project. Neat stuff Sir. Hmm, Wondering if you could live in the geo? Be awesome to live in a garden. Haha keep up the great work.

Tiffany Stasinis

Thank you Mike, for taking the time to visit my blog and leave a comment.

Frugal Off Grid

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