Chinese Farmer Creates Amazing Greenhouse Technology That Can Be Used Even In The Dead Of Winter

Old News

Chinese agronomist, Dong Jianyi, has managed to bring his amazing greenhouse technology to Canada, and now is growing vegetation regardless of the harsh winter weather.

An agronomist is an expert that is studied in the science of soil management and crop production. For Jianyi, he was surprised when he noticed that in Canada, they weren’t harnessing solar power to grow during the long, cold months. Using just materials and the law of thermodynamics, he managed to yield an impressive amount of crops that included lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and more, despite the harsh Alberta weather. And moreover, he did it all without using a single watt.

Once working in the oil industry, after the price of oil came crashing down, he decided to put up his Fresh Pal Farms, which is now considered the biggest “passive greenhouse” in the continent.

Even in the most northern portion of China where it gets very frigid, the requirement to grow vegetables is still there. This is where the passive greenhouses that don’t necessarily require electricity are quite common in those areas.

Dong explained to CBC, “In north China, it also gets really cold and pretty dark in winter, but people can grow year-round. Where I lived in China, there were so many passive solar greenhouses. But in Canada, I didn’t see any on the commercial scale.”

The greenhouse is 300-feet long and 30-feet wide, made out of a steel frame that has two polyolefin plastic roofs. It is fitted with an insulating blanket that traps heat absorbed during the day inside, using an electric motor to allow operators to either extend or retract the said blanket. With this, the farmers can then keep the 10,000-square foot inside space at a warm 82°F (28°C), which is heavenly compared to the incredibly chilly December weather, which is usually has temperatures of 20°F (-7°C) outside.

Meanwhile, a 24-inch thick clay wall sits on the northern side, capturing more light from the sun. When it’s night time, the clay then radiates heat inside the space to aid in the plants’ surviving the harsh winter temperatures in Olds, Alberta that can fall to a staggering -31°F (-35°C).


Despite the crazy cold winters, last year Jianyi managed to grow up to 29,000 pounds of tomatoes alone, while saving a whopping $30,000 in heating and energy costs.

Although Jianyi admits that the initial costs of the passive solar greenhouses can be very expensive in the beginning, the yield that comes from this massive investment is made back through energy savings throughout the years since the greenhouses are basically powered using natural gas.

To see more about this story, take a look at the video below.


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