Truly GREENhouses!

We have taken a step farther and have consciously built our greenhouses to be as green as they could be. All our greenhouses are constructed in bamboo. Yes, bamboo! Not those tall, rigid, imposing steel structures, not even concrete, not even hard wood. We do not cut trees!

Bamboo Greenhouses with a View

WHY BAMBOO?

Prevents global warming: Our greenhouses made entirely out of bamboo captures carbon dioxide and stores it. This is because planted bamboo gets CO2 from the atmosphere. When a plant breathes in CO2 and exhales O2, the plant takes the C-carbon atom and converts it into plant matter through photosynthesis, storing the carbon in the plant. When the plant dies and decays, the carbon is eaten by bacteria or insects. The greenhouses could then be seen as a carbon sink, storing the carbon in the bamboo poles.

Grows 3-7 times faster than trees: Bamboo is not a tree. It is a grass. The fastest growing bamboo can grow up to 4 feet a day!

Extremely strong: Bamboo has twice the compression strength of concrete and roughly the same strength-to-weight ratio of steel. Imagine that! Our bamboo poles are able to withstand strong winds and earthquakes.

Weather, termite and mold resistant: Our bamboo greenhouses are naturally designed and treated with natural elements to be weather, termite and mold resistant. Our bamboo poles are treated with non-toxic borates to prevent termite and powder post beetle infestations as well as decaying fungi. Borates have been used internationally for the past 60 years as a safe and effective treatment to stop insects and decay.

One of our Greenhouses

Our walkpaths: Stones, sand and bamboo!

Our walkpaths: Stones, sand and bamboo!

No nails!  Just bamboo pegs!

No nails! Just bamboo pegs!

HOW DO WE DO IT? Our bamboo greenhouses are made entirely of bamboo. The variety we use is the local thorny bambusa variety.   We cut from the bottom of the trunk since this is the hardest part and very good for posts. We cut at the right age , this is when the bamboo will start to have like a white powdery substance around the lower portion of the trunk.  These poles are usually at least 2 years old. To secure the bamboo poles, we scorch it and then bore it into the soil.  We bury it to a height of 1-1.5 meters.  To finally secure it, we put a minimal amount of concrete into the hole.  To put the poles together, we do not even use nails or screws. The bamboo poles are held together by bamboo pegs. Aside from sustainability, the pegs allow the bamboos to sway with the wind.  The greenhouses are then roofed with greenhouse UV plastic film. To attach the plastic to the poles, we need to use nuts and bolts. An important component is that the bamboo poles must be treated.  We use borax and/or boric acid to treat our bamboo poles.  This is quite labor intensive but you can do it with patience.  (There are a number of Youtube videos you can check to guide you.)

We have designed and positioned our greenhouses to ensure that we use the least amount of energy for our crops. Our bamboo buildings use natural ventilation, and rely on the direction, strength or gentleness of winds.  The greenhouses are 8 to 10 feet tall, have open sides and vents in the center, and face the wind. With this, we eliminated the need for energy-powered fans. Not only these, the bamboo poles are designed in a way that we can harvest our rainwater, which we in turn, use to irrigate our plants.  The rainwater we get from the greenhouses are channeled to a water impounding pond or to plant beds that are covered with thick mulch.

We are the proud pioneers of these creative innovation in the Philippines. We only have to thank nature and the creativity of our farmers for our brilliant yet delightful bamboo houses.

50 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by lica v. banzon on August 13, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    this is one of my dreams… hopefully i can have one

    Reply

    • Posted by flowerdepot on August 25, 2009 at 5:07 am

      Yes you can. Whatever you dream you can do, begin it! The more people farming and gardening, the better for our planet!

      Reply

  2. Posted by SINENE GANDOUZ on August 21, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Dear sir,

    I have a nursery of ornommental plants and i use classic greenhouse.
    I just have the idea of greenhouse built with bamboo and i search about this subject and I find your company made this innovation.
    Can you please give me more information about this bamboo greenhouse , which kind of bamboo where i can find it.

    Best regards.

    Reply

    • Hi. Sorry for the delayed reply. I lost your comments in my dashboard. We use our local bamboo called “kawayan.” It is readily available in our area in the Philippines, especially in most areas around Northern Mindanao. We are not sure about its scientific name but it looks very much like the thorny Bambusa variety. Where are you from and where is your farm located? Hope I have been of help. Best regards.

      Reply

  3. Nice job! I have built a 96′ gh and i am using a water chiller to grow Lettuce in the Jungle in Fiji and plan to build a Bamboo greenhouse there next. Will soon tap a steam welltoo. Would anyone there like to help?

    Reply

  4. Posted by Justin Wagner on November 4, 2009 at 12:44 am

    I have been building bamboo geodesic domes for the past couple years, and what I really want is to create and indoor bamboo farm in colorado. I think I have a great vision for how to make a tall canopy greenhouse utilizing bamboo and rammed earth construction. I’m just looking for supporters, sponsors, investors. Let’s keep in touch?

    Justin Wagner
    Golden Mean Designs

    Reply

    • Yes please do keep in touch. It would be wonderful to share creative and practical ideas for the bamboo greenhouses. Let us know about your project and how it goes please. Best regards.

      Reply

  5. Posted by Paul Thorkildssen on May 22, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Hello.

    I am a Norwegian man who is currently studying for a MSc in Entrepreneurship & innovation at SKEMA Business School in France. I am working on a project where I compare and evaluate different methods for constructing greenhouses in a large scale project. I find your bamboo construction very interesting. I wonder if you can tell me something about the construction costs? It would be great if you could tell me how large your greenhouse(s) is (/are) and what the construction costs were. I also wonder if you have any opinion about the lifespan of this construction?

    I really hope you can find the time to answer this request. Thanks in advance!

    Yours faithfully

    Paul Chr. Thorkildssen

    Reply

    • Hi Paul. We’re happy our simple bamboo greenhouse is garnering interest from France! We just started using bamboo 3 years ago. Most of our construction materials came from our old greenhouses. We merely reused them. So, we don’t have a very good idea of how much it will cost to put up a new bamboo greenhouse or how long it will last. So far, it’s been 3 years and I have had no problems with the construction. We are still in the experimental stage but it looks very promising. Our greenhouses are 100 to 200 square meters and we estimate the cost of a new one would be between 8- 12 dollars per square meter. Please be in touch.

      Reply

      • Posted by Paul Thorkildssen on May 25, 2010 at 9:07 am

        Hi. Thank you for your response. I am interested in hearing more about your experiences later. Here is a link to another interesting bamboo greenhouse design: http://www.kyoto-u.ac.jp/en/news_data/h/h1/news7/2009/091005_1.htm Maybe something you can try out if you plan to construct more bamboo greenhouses :). Good luck with the continued running of your greenhouse and business! Brgds. Paul Chr. T.

      • Thank you for the link. Right now we are using borax and boric acid to treat the bamboo (prevent bugs.) We are now looking for a cheaper/more practical alternative. For now, our experiments are with fermented neem mixed with garlic and coconut vinegar. We hope it works. Keep us posted too if you find anything. Best! Nicolo

  6. Posted by PAOLO DE GUZMAN on July 8, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Good evening.
    I am Paolo de Guzman from Polytechnic University of the Philippines taking up a Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management and we are having a feasibility study about the business of flower farming. Since we are on the same field with your company, we would like to know the cost of building a Green House made out of this Bamboos, and what is the bamboo’s classification. thank you! :) Your idea for this project is so nice and really helps the nature. Anyway can we have a visit on your farm as soon as possible? please. Thank you. :)

    Reply

    • Hi Paolo. Thank you for your comment. Most of the construction materials came from our old greenhouses, we merely recycled/reused them. We do not have an exact amount of how much it will cost to put up a new bamboo greenhouse. Our greenhouses are 100 to 200 square meters and we estimate the cost of a new one would be between P500.00 per square meter. According to our farm manager, the bamboo is commonly known “BUNTONG.” Yes you can visit our farm. Just email us or send us a message when you plan to go.

      Reply

  7. Posted by africanfarmer on November 25, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Hi ,

    Great work. can you please sand me details on how to construct a green house using bamboo and the name of the type of nylons and the supplier and irrigation manufacturer address. I plan to grow vegetables. I will also appreciate if you can send me your email and number. I am based in Africa.

    Thanks
    Africanfarmer

    Reply

  8. Posted by Ramella on June 2, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    What material did you use into the ceiling of your greenhouse plastic or glass???

    Reply

  9. Hello.
    Thank you for the useful information about an inexpensive greenhouse construction…but i am wondering what you have used for the upper covering it is a glass or plastic?? If it is plastic where could i buy them…..Thanks!!!

    Reply

  10. Posted by Penny on July 16, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    I am in central Louisiana and have bamboo growing on my property. I plan to build a lean to greenhouse and want to do it as inexpensive as possible. Will our bamboo work? How should I cut it? Should it be cured?

    Reply

    • Hi Penny. We grow and use mostly thorny bambusa here in the Philippines . We cut from the bottom of the trunk since this is the hardest part and very good for post. We cut at the right age , this is when the bamboo will start to have like a white powdery substance around the lower portion of the trunk. To treat bamboo we use borax and boric acid there are videos on youtube you can check on treating bamboo. I hope this helps.

      Reply

    • Posted by Wayne on February 25, 2012 at 2:57 am

      Hi Penny
      I live in Ga. I use uncured bamboo with recycled plastic film from commercial greenhouse grower in the area. My structures are crude and not so large,but they serve the purpose,outlast the plastic film and are simple construction[wired together arches and poles].my local bamboo is smallish and i twist tie 2 stalks together small end to small end to make the arches. I use a ‘button’ and tie method for securing the plastic.If you want exposed bamboo to last over 1 to 2 years, it must be cured,a rather time consuming and labor intensive process,and must be treated with borax/boric acid or some other means.For strength the bamboo should be 3 to 5 years old,generally will be yellow colored for most i have seen.Hope this helps.

      Reply

      • Hi Wayne. Thank you for your comment it is most helpful! Our bamboo is the local thorny bambusa variety. We select the ones that have the white powdery layer close to the bottom of the poles. These poles are at least 2 years old. We also use borax or boric acid to treat the bamboos.

  11. Such great work Nicolo….. it’s so inspiring for you to share these….galing!!!

    Reply

  12. Posted by swank on August 21, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Very nice construction and reconstruction. Are you also using bamboo pegs to hold the greenhouse film in place?

    Reply

  13. Posted by sherrily on April 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Hi there

    Absolutely LOVE your work. Your farm is an inspiration and I very much hope to achieve my own little bio dynamic farm one day soon.
    I was looking at some of your farm pics on flickr and was interested to know how/if you secured the bamboo poles into ground, and if so about how far did you secure them in the ground.

    Thanks I really enjoy your blogs, they are so informative and useful.
    Sherrily

    Reply

    • Thank you also for your appreciation! The more of us doing biodynamic farming, the better! We secure the bamboo pole by scorching it and then boring it into the soil. We bury it to a height of about 1 to 1.5 meters (this will often depend on how high you want your poles.) To finally secure it, we pour a a minimal amount of concrete into the hole. Hope this helps!

      Reply

  14. Posted by rayma tracy on May 7, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    tks for the interesting info about bamboo greenhouses you have built in Philippines. I work on Timor island, Indonesia and am very interested in building this especially when the rains come and no tomatoes or other vegetables are available for several months per year. What is your system for catching rainwater?

    Reply

    • Thank you for your comment. All rainwater we get from the greenhouses are channeled to a water impounding pond or to the plant beds covered with thick mulch to avoid evaporation. Hope I have answered your question.

      Reply

  15. sir gud am kami po ay nagbabalak din n magtayo ng rainshelter para sa aming mga magsasaka maari po bang mabigyan niyo kami ng mas detalyadong proseso kung papano po ang pagtatayo nito gamit po ang ating kawayan.maraming salamat po kami po ay taga bani,pangasinan malaking tulong po ito para sa amin

    Reply

  16. Posted by goutham on November 28, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Hi, I would like to know can i structure a Green house with Bamboo on my terrace which is over the 3rd floor of the building and is 60feet *40 feet which is 2400 squire feet ground area. I am worried if it could take the wind speed at 120 km per Hr.

    Kindly advice

    Reply

  17. Posted by Michele L Duncan on January 8, 2013 at 12:37 am

    I loved your article. I am planning on building a greenhouse in the USA. I think it is an amazing idea and recycles what we already have. I am seeking information on putting the greenhouse togeather and how to “seam” the top togeather. I was hoping to make about a 12×24 size.

    Reply

  18. Greetings from Panama!
    We are looking to build a new bamboo greenhouse.
    I was wondering how your greenhouse is faring- how many years has it been standing?
    And why did you use bamboo pegs versus nails, besides I suppose sustainability?
    How tall is your green house?
    Do you have any vents in it?
    Did you position your greenhouses in a special way toward the sun or any consideration to wind?
    Thank you so much for your time.
    Enjoyed reading about your farm.
    Rose & Smith

    Reply

    • Hi Rose. Nice to hear from a farmer in panama. We have been using the bamboo greenhouses for 5 years. It can last longer if you make smaller greenhouses.
      We used bamboo pegs instead of nails. Apart from sustainability, the pegs allow the bamboo to sway with the wind. It’s perfect for our tropical weather, where somethings the winds are very strong.
      Our greenhouses are about 8 to 10 feet tall.
      Yes we have vents in it. We have open sides and vents in the middle.
      We positioned the greenhouses more for wind direction, we made sure the structures faced the wind.
      Hope we answered your questions!

      Reply

  19. Posted by stephen Kifordu on April 14, 2013 at 12:24 am

    Hello,
    I indeed admire your bamboo greenhouses. How did you attach the covering sheet without nails?

    Reply

  20. Posted by NIMFA CAMUA on April 30, 2013 at 11:01 am

    hello…my husband is into hydrophonics using our backyard.here in Cainta, Rizal.. we want to build a greenhouse that is inexpensive and thank you for the idea of using bamboo…question: where can we buy the greenhouse plastic film? thanks a lot for your reply :) I am Nimfa

    Reply

    • Thank you for your message. It is best to go to Agrilink because you will find several suppliers there and you can get the best prices. I think Agrilink has a list of companies that participate in the event and you can check it online.

      Reply

  21. Can we visit your place? Where is it?

    Reply

  22. Posted by Elmer Bernal on April 30, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    hi. i’m glad to read this article because i am also into organic gardening. it gives me an idea for my garden. i do have one problem in my garden, though. it is infested with subterranean termites but i do not want to use commercial pesticides. i read somewhere that boric acid kills this pests. could you tell me where to buy this boric acid? it is not available in local drugstores, grocery, hardware and agricultural stores in the cities of iligan and cagayan de oro. or maybe i will just buy boric acid from you. is this possible?

    thanks,

    elmer

    Reply

  23. Posted by Simon Baily-Gibson on April 30, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    We just built a chicken house out of bamboo – works very well !

    Calunasan Creek Farm
    Calunasan, Calape, Bohol Island
    Philippines

    Reply

  24. […] farm has built Bamboo Greenhouses. (Read more about our greenhouses.)  Bamboo is treated with borax and boric acid. It is important […]

    Reply

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