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Greenhouse Gardening – Cow Powder

By admin On August 20, 2008 Under Greenhouse Gardening

Few early ways to heat greenhouses have been as ingenious as a Russian system, detailed in “A New System of Practical Domestic Economy in 1825. It was reported that in Russia, and especially in the vicinity of St Petersburg, greenhouses were no longer being heated by fuel or steam but by the breath of cattle! Its superiority, it was claimed, was proven when in a climate where twenty-four degrees of frost are known, vegetables raised in greenhouses heated in this manner were far superior to anything previously grown.

The byre containing the cattle was attached to the greenhouse and constructed with small holes just above the cattle’s nostrils, so that expelled warm air would pass directly into the greenhouse. The pressure of the expelled air opened flaps between the byre and greenhouses.

It was further claimed that the cattle’s breath provided both great warmth and humidity and so completely eliminated the need to water plants.

Experiments like this were happening throughout Europe, in a vibrant age of discovery, invention and innovation.

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