This Insulated Cold Frame is Great for
-- winter food-growing without an external heat source
This Insulated Cold Frame instructable uses
-scavenged pieces of wood
-used/rejected old window (hopefully non-leaded)
-about a foot of an old rubber hose for a hinge (another option is cloth)
-Horse Poop - when it biodegrades it heats the cold frame and provides nutrients to your food.
Step 1: Place Window on Top of Hay Bales
This will give you an idea of how big of a gap you need.
Step 2: Match Hay Bales to Window Frame Size
Arrange the hay bales in a way that the hole they make will be completely covered by the window frame you've scavenged.
Step 3: Create Window Support
Figure out a way to make a frame with some of your scavenged wood.
The frame to be arched only about this high-- you can look at other cold frame instructables or images on the web to compare angles. Usually if the angle is too high, it will create hotspots, that your plants won't like. Too low will freeze the plants: not enough winter sunlight.
The key point here is to remember you will have plywood to encase the rest of the window in.
So make sure the support is flush against the window with little to no gaps.
We used one big baseboard on the back to cover the gap in the hay bale a little more. You can choose to use large base boards on all sides of the window for extra insulation.
Step 4: Make Hinges for Window
We used a rubber hose piece, but you can use a thick layered piece of cloth, or a real hinge.
The idea is to minimize cost here, so be creative with what you've got.
What we did was simply nail the hose to the window and the support.
Step 5: Cover the Window Support
Cut and measure scavenged ply-wood to fit flush against the window frame on all three sides.
Step 6: You're Ready for Siberia! ...almost
Now all you have left to do is to fill the bottom (experiment, or just do 50%) with horse manure. Add compost on top of that, and some soil. As the bacteria break down and eat the manure they will produce heat, which your plants will love in combination with the passive solar provided by the arched window.