Building a greenhouse or if you prefer a “hoophouse” using common supplies like pallets and cattle panels can be a very affordable and practical way to extend your growing season and take advantage of all the other benefits of having a greenhouse on your permaculture homestead.
In the above video, I give a parts list and some estimated prices. This video is at least a couple of years old and obviously, prices have increased on many of these items bringing up what the total cost of this completed greenhouse would be. I still believe this is one of the most affordable ways to build a sturdy and large greenhouse.
Building The Greenhouse
In addition to cattle or hog panels, pallets, and greenhouse plastic you need a few U-Posts, T-brackets, hinges, screws, nails, and fence staples. All of which can be purchased at your local hardware store, ordered on Amazon, or possibly sourced from used resources that can be repurposed to save even more money.
Not only was this greenhouse an affordable option but also it was fairly easy to build. Two men put this entire greenhouse together in just a few short hours. The hardest part of this particular build was that the pallets my friend sourced were made of oak which made the wood hard to cut and nail into but also probably added some stability and longevity to the build.
Using The Greenhouse
This particular greenhouse is an 8’x25′ greenhouse which provides a lot of indoor growing space. There are many benefits to using a greenhouse including season extension, reduction of pest pressure, prevention of weeds and disease, and many other benefits.
As you can see from the photo above, a greenhouse makes an excellent place to start seeds and can even provide a place for growing in raised beds as well as containers.
How Sturdy Is The Greenhouse?
I can tell you from the many times I’ve visited my friend’s property where we built this greenhouse that high winds and extreme weather are a common occurrence and years later this greenhouse is still standing and as good as ever.
People mostly often wonder just how well a greenhouse built this way actually holds up after a heavy snow. After two years in aggressive Indiana winters, the greenhouse design has proved itself to be a cheap but also sturdy design. Below is a video of the greenhouse after a heavy snow.
This is of course not the only way to build a greenhouse from used or common materials. However, this is a quick and affordable option to extend the growing season on your permaculture homestead.