Monday, February 11, 2013
Did you know that the original use for the basics of a greenhouse took place during the Roman Empire? It is said that the Roman Emperor Tiberius demanded that he eat a fresh cucumber every single day of his life. Cucumbers can be quite temperamental when it comes to extreme weather, so this posed a challenge to the Empire's gardeners. They found their answer in moving the plants out of the climate that they shared with the ebb and flow of seasons, and moved them indoors to a place where the humidity, heat, and other elements could be better-controlled. This original greenhouse allowed for the Romans to grow fresh vegetables and fruits all year long.
Though the first greenhouse was little more than a paper and canvas tent, it did give humanity the basic knowledge of greenhouse gardening, and allowed for improvements to be made throughout history. The Romans would be quite astonished to see how well-built greenhouses are in today's society. Nearly impervious to unwanted light or climate conditions, these greenhouses act as completely different ecosystems, allowing gardeners to coax certain behaviors and traits out of their crops. This has given us vegetables and fruits that give a high yield, require less nutrients, and can even be better optimized for health benefits.
Though a lot has changed in greenhouse designs in modern times, the basics are still the same, only improved upon. Greenhouses today are so well built, that a modest family with a simple greenhouse can replace all of their purchased fruits and vegetables with homegrown ones within a year of the first planting. This not only saves money, but you have more control over what chemicals or nutrients your food is being treated with. The health benefits alone could be the most important factor in the decision to buy and install a greenhouse.