[Homestead] solar tube question

deb stufunlimited at sbcglobal.net
Thu Jul 10 11:34:14 EDT 2008

Hi Gene,
My biggest issue is really with the amount of shade I have.  On my acre of ground the one sunny spot I have only gets 4-6 hours of sun a day depending on the time of year and the trees I have are all huge...100' plus and most are the reason I bought the property.  I do grow cooking and medicinal herbs and have raised broc and snap peas.  I do grow some herbs under lights in the winter for cooking, but the cost of running enough lighting to produce an adequate amount of food seems prohibitive to me right now.    I am also slighly disabled and full production in an outside environment is not something I can physically do.  I can't think of anything I grow that would be considered 'special', with the exception of some white sage plants I am trying out which are used for Native American cleansing rituals.  I feared it wouldn't work, but thought I would check with you guys to make sure.
Thanks for the input.

----- Original Message ----
From: Gene GeRue <genegerue at ruralize.com>
To: homestead at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Wednesday, July 9, 2008 9:49:35 PM
Subject: Re: [Homestead] solar tube question

On Jul 9, 2008, at 8:20 PM, deb wrote:

> Hello everyone,
> I've been a lurker here for awhile and I finally have a question for  
> all of you.  Has anyone tried to use solar tubes to bring in light  
> to grow vegetables?  I live in a huge hardwood forrest, don't want  
> to cut the trees and have sooo many deer that growing veggies  
> outside is almost impossible.  I do have a clear spot over my house  
> that gets sun so I thought if I could install some solar tubes and  
> run them to the basement, I could garden there without increasing my  
> electric usage (bad for the planet and my pocketbook) and not  
> fattening up the local deer population.  Any and all thoughts are  
> appreciated.
> Deb in Indiana
> ____________

Hi, Deb. It doesn't sound right to me. For substantial light to travel  
from rooftop to basement you would need larger tubes than I have seen.  
There are other issues. In addition to light, plants need lots of  
carbon dioxide for photosynthesis.

Are you wanting to grow, um, special plants?

Double fences will stop deer. They can jump one but won't if they can  
see that their noses will slam into the second fence. Six feet between  
fences worked here.

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