Last year, Shayne and Louise Johnson, owners of Grampa G’s Farm in Pillager, received some good news that took their gardening business to a new level.
Louise said after they expressed their interest in building a Deep Winter Greenhouse (DWG), they were approached by the University of Minnesota Extension about building a prototype of a newly designed DWG. They jumped at the opportunity.
There are currently only five DWG prototypes built in Minnesota. Besides the Johnsons’, the others are located in Bemidji, Finland, Lake City and Madelia.
What makes growers like the Johnsons thrilled about DWGs is that the uniquely designed greenhouse allows small farmers to grow vegetable crops year round.
The steeply sloped glazing wall facing south enables a maximum amount of solar radiation into the greenhouse, even on the coldest day in winter.
“It is wonderful. You come in on a sunny day, it’s 28 (Fahrenheit) below outside and it is 60 to 70 degrees in here,” said Louise.