DIY Year-Round Greenhouse

This DIY, year-round greenhouse was designed by Francis Gendron, and it’s ethos is to provide you with an indoor garden no matter what the season or weather outside, in addition to having a protected space where self-reliant food production is possible.

Reusing scrap and recycled materials can be used to reduce waste and encourage “using what you have”.
These structures can be built to any size or specification; meaning they can also provide the homegrown food resources required to helps sustain an entire community.

Called “The Greenhouse of the Future”, this walipini-style semi-underground structure can provide enough of a micro-climate inside to enable growth, especially in colder climates.

The greenhouses are easily made from salvaged materials, such as reclaimed metal sheeting, glass bottles and wood, and also incorporate aspects of earthship construction by using discarded tyres. Indeed, Francis himself graduated from architect Michael Reynolds’ Earthship Academy in 2012.


As we become more socially conscious about how and where our food is derived, so too do we look to try and become more personally involved in its production. In the attempt at achieving this, our location on the planet will greatly inform what can be grown.
Colder/more northern climes have a shorter growing season, yet as the protected environment within the greenhouse can be regulated the growing season extends to the full year, if desired.

According to Gendron, “…the questions people should ask themselves…

  • Where do I live?
  • What’s the climate like?
  • How long do I want to produce food throughout the year (6 months, 8 months, or the full year)?
  • Do I have access to a sunny place where I can build?
  • Do I want more than just food production?
    For example, you may want a beautiful place to relax in the sun during the winter.”



The semi-underground structure of the greenhouse design protects it from strong winds, and heavy snows in addition to benefitting from the passive geothermal energy of the earth.

Gendron has produced a film, ebook and provides plans and designs for building your won greenhouse, which are available here for purchase and download.

You can also watch the trailer for the film here.

About the designer:
“Francis Gendron is a public speaker, educator, and passionate promoter of an ethical, resilient and sustainable future.

Francis spent many years as an outdoor guide teaching leadership, outdoor and survival skills in some of Canada’s wildest areas before he became the first graduate of the Earthship Academy in Taos, New Mexico, directed by renowned architect Michael Reynolds. He has led over 100 seminars on the philosophy and practical skills behind the Earthship concept.

He started The Greenhouse of the Future project to create a resilient, organic and local food production solution for any climate.”


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