In the dead of winter, the heart of Canada’s Manitoba province sees temperatures tumble far below zero, with summers short and cool as well. But when Roger and Marie Haynes moved there from the United Kingdom 12 years ago, they sought a profitable career as farmers. After failed crops and cattle with mad-cow disease, they decided to grow fresh fruits and vegetables—and they’ve been successful, despite a very short growing season.
They credit their unique greenhouse, made of RKW’s Polydress® LP-Keder air bubble greenhouse film. The polyethylene film has thousands of air bubbles that act as insulation, to allow a greenhouse to keep 60–95 percent of its heat. Used as greenhouse roofing or walls, LP-Keder is waterproof, airtight and guaranteed against UV light degradation for up to five years. It looks like an opaque bubble wrap, diffusing sunlight evenly so that the plants can grow. Lightweight and flexible, it can be cut with a knife or scissors to adjust to structure changes, and can be recycled or safely incinerated.
In the sun, the temperature inside warms up and stays balmy. According to Roger Haynes, “We pick strawberries in the greenhouse when it’s negative 30 degrees [Celsius] outside.”
“We get snows, 70 mile-per-hour winds and violent hailstorms that collapse most structures, but not our greenhouse,” Marie Haynes adds.
The results were so encouraging that the Haynes underwent a trial on a second Keder greenhouse and are consulting with colleges and government bodies to conduct studies to help other growers in extreme climates.