Deep Winter Greenhouses

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Photo: Interior Deep Winter Greenhouse

Interest is growing in deep winter greenhouses — also know as passive solar greenhouses — in Minnesota to enable producers to grow crops year-round with minimal fossil fuel inputs. Expansion of this technology may be critical to the further development of food supply resiliency, increased rural vitality and energy conservation in the face of climate change.

As a new technology, there are few physical DWG prototypes that are accessible to prospective producers, would-be financers and interested community members. With this in mind, “Deep Winter Greenhouses: Promoting Year-Round Food Production in Northern Climates” is building 10 DWGs throughout greater Minnesota to demonstrate DWG technology as a part of a year-round production system.

Anticipated outcomes of the project include a better understanding of the effectiveness of deep winter greenhouses in northern climates, increased local resilience, establishment of rural Minnesota as a leader in cutting-edge, environmentally responsive jobs training, construction experience, additional farm revenue with low opportunity costs, greater access to locally grown fresh and nutritious produce, and an enhanced Minnesota rural economy, health and production capacity.


  • College of Design
  • College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
  • University of Minnesota Extension

Photo by SARE Outreach (Flickr/Creative Commons)