Solar cold frame

cold frame is keeping the heat in - bruce witzel photo

It has been three  weeks since I’ve last posted and I haven’t had much of a chance to visit fellow bloggers. Being in the carpentry business can be hectic at times.

I have numerous jobs on the go…

Demolition material - bruce witzel photo


Fiveplex reno - bruce witel photo


Mitchell deck - bruce witzel photo


Blogging has been low on the totem pole.


Kwatsistah - North West Coast Vancouver Island - francis guenette photo


Still, I manage to be busy in the garden….


Greenhouse & shop in process - bruce witzel photo

The solar greenhouse and shop I’m building has slowed way down. But old window glass from a renovation found their way into into this solar cold frame that I built a month ago.


Glass lift off cold frame - bruce witzel photo

Thanks for the inspiration from Dan over on vegetablurb who gave me the idea back in April.  Meanwhile, I’m also collecting some double pane recycled windows for the new greenhouse and shop.


Recyled windows and 50 gallon drums waiting in the bush - bruce witzel photo


Proposed Solar Greenhouse and Shed - by b.witzel

It is now clear to me that the greenhouse is not going to be functional until the next growing season.


Greenhouse and shop nexr to garden arbors - bruce witzel photo


The cold frame will have to do for now…


New coldframe with greenhouse & shop under construction - bruce witzel photo


Solar powered cold frame, May 31-2015 -bruce witzel photo


Coldframe at sunset, May 31 - 2015


I leave you with the beauty of nature and the Bonnechere River in this photo taken by Francis near Ottawa, where she is currently visiting her son Doug.


Bonnechere River - francis guenette photo

Bonnechere means pretty one. Yes, indeed!


~ Cheers to all ~



21 thoughts on “Solar cold frame

  1. I love all the repurposed windows, although I can’t say that I’m surprised! You are quite consistent in your efforts to be resourceful. I hope you’ll share more about the larger greenhouse when you get it built. That’s a great project! It’s always nice to see what you’ve been up to. There are times it’s nearly impossible to put any time to blogging and it’s just nice when you can get around to it! We have a decking project in mind…wish you lived a whole lot closer. 🙂

    • Yes – decks are one of my favorite jobs. I will keep you in the loop… the front of the building where the greenhouse is will be two stories of vertical growing space…. I don’t know what I was thinking!?

    • Yes… on low deck the building code doesn’t require a full ht. railing but without any physical divider, the edge of the deck needs something to stop people from stepping off. On this deck I tried to convince my clients to have more bench and a 6′ wide set of steps instead of the low railing. but they decided to have the low railing instead. Good luck with your deck & check out the library or the web, maybe google decks + “fine homebuilding”.

    • Thanks. Yes interesting projects – one small, and one massive… literally. The greenhouse is going to have 20 – 50 gallon drums of water for thermal storage of he heat of the sun and also to help reduce overheating. In the photo of the recycled windows you can see the plastic blue drums behind the windows, Thanks for the comment

  2. Pingback: Solar cold frame | through the luminary lens | WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

  3. Hey Bruce,

    Thanks for posting pictures of your “work in progress.” Your solar cold frame makes me think of my cousin. He loves fresh vegetables and so he does something similar in the winter, so he has lettuce all year round. I don’t think his little greenhouse is quite as fancy as yours though.

    I hope your summer is off to a fabulous start!


    • We’re having unseasonably warm and dry weather here, and the cold frame has a couple pieces of the glass off except at night. I was surprised how it turned out because it was quite simple to build and I hadn’t meant it to become elaborate. At first I was just going to put a 2×4 across the center of the raised bed to support the glass and then it came to me that it wouldn’t be that difficult to slope the glass. Now there’s more room for the plants. I’m really hoping for some cantaloupe this year which is difficult to grow on the cool west coast of British Columbia. And I also look forward to that winter lettuce like your cousin, Nancy.

  4. You are a very busy man indeed Bruce! Very interesting to see the various projects and the their progress. The greenhouse and shop is going to be a marvelous addition to the Witzel estate. Cheers

    • Hi Darrel. Neat that you were able to comment. I hope it works out for you to come out some time to seem the homestead in person and to meet Fran.The blog will have to suffice in the meantime. Take care Darrel and I’ll see you around town.

  5. Thanks for sharing your projects! I am now working at Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation for a man who is also a carpenter. He asked me to sell his DVD on constructing a West Greenland-style kayak using hand tools on our E-bay store. If you’re interested, look for Scholar and Poet Books on E-bay and the DVD by Bob Boucher! (He has about 150 copies left…I think he made it about 15 years ago.)

    • Hi Priscilla. That sounds like a wonderful job at the Cedar lakes Conservation Foundation. The kayak would have to be a retirement project for me. I do admire the craft and expertise of carpenters and boat builders like Bob. Good for him and thanks for the heads up on it.

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