The greenhouse

Placed, like the house, on the deck, it takes the form of a tunnel. Very roomy, it has the same thermal behavior, offering less wind resistance: it is a bulwark against the cold, which enables crops to be grown throughout the year. Furthermore, it limits the evaporation of water and thus needs less watering. Thanks to it, we further optimized the surface area of the boat. Even in bad weather, crop care is possible.
Its design means it can open wide when necessary to expose the crops to the weather: rain, frost, etc.
We have partnered with a permaculture consultancy who offer different levels of expertise and support. Their service can range from just the supply of a detailed guide on how to get the most from the crops in the greenhouse to a full ‘turn-key’ ready-to-grow installation.
One of the permaculture techniques, the "wicking-beds", enables energy-free automation of crop watering.

- The beds used for the plants are made of wood, naturally rot-proof and local varieties: larch, robinia (false acacia). Their waterproofing is guaranteed, either by a synthetic sheet or better yet (because more environmentally friendly and without toxicity for the crops), by an internal lining of zinc. Such a structure has the advantage of limiting the weight at height, which improves the stability of the boat during navigation (limits pitching).
- At the right height, they enable cultivation without bending, with gains in efficiency and comfort.
- To save weight and become part of a permaculture approach, we advise filling them with layers of different kinds (see below). This allows you to use less soil, so less water and save yet more weight. The different substrates decompose at their own pace while feeding the surface soil to give it a high nutritive power for crops.
-the arrangement in squares makes it possible to organize the crops according to ones own criteria: weather, location of the boat (latitude), food preferences and number of occupants, seasons, etc.
- One can move about freely and with perfect ergonomy to care for the plants in this small maze of luxuriant growth.
- This so-called "wicking-beds" technique uses the principles of permaculture stated above with an optimization of watering: it is a kind of automatic watering, but not requiring energy. The principle consists of a vertical pipe (which can be connected to the rainwater collection) which descends to the bottom of each bed and then branches out horizontally.
- The branches are pierced on top and embedded in a layer of gravel. Thus the water rises by capillarity in the various layers of the tank, to the roots of the plants. An overflow prevents a "pooling" effect at the bottom of the tanks. Plants take only the necessary water, the surplus returns to nature passively, by simple runoff, with no expenditure of energy.
- The different layers above the gravel are plant-based and increasingly finer as they rise towards the surface: twigs, pieces of bark, then topsoil on the surface, itself covered with mulching to further reduce evaporation (already minimised by the protection against the wind that is the greenhouse). A geotextile membrane separates the plant-based layers from the gravel to preserve their ability to collect water by capillarity.
This avoids manual watering and the risk of too much or too little!
Thanks to the ease of work and amazing precision, growing crops in this way is an inexhaustible and practical way to healthy living (medicinal herbs, fresh vegetables, aromatics) and fulfillment (relaxation, ease, harmony, beauty).

In the greenhouse, three six-week-old batavias, five plants of sucrine lettuces to come, two everlasting chard plants, three Chinese cabbages that follow the spring strawberries, a few flowers and some radish seedlings. In the interstices, chives and lemon thyme, basil, parsley and coriander. On the trellis, buried in the nasturtiums, melon plants mix with mint and cherry tomatoes. Unless you prefer runner courgettes or climbing beans. The whole place seems wild, a pretty space filled with life.

Correctly sized, the greenhouse will provide a small family with additional fresh produce, always available, within reach, and even on the kitchen doorstep. For those tending towards self-sufficiency in fruit, vegetables and aromatic plants, the greenhouse can be extended in exchange for decking and living space, and the dependence on outside producers thus reduced. A wise crop rotation saves your soil, crop care is kept to a minimum by planting tight, which increases yield.
In this way, the greenhouse will produce vegetables all year round.
There are two problems with a vegetable garden: the fatigue of the work and the need to wear suitable clothes. Everyone knows about the aching back and muddy boots. Yet an alternative exists: gardening for pleasure first and foremost, in one’s spare time, spontaneously, without obligation.
Everybody will appreciate this of course. Removing parasites, weeding plants or thinning seedlings, is done effortlessly, with your fingertips, in a light soil that can even be dug by hand.
This precision care, with no slugs and snails, is the guarantee of healthy and developed plants, without treatment or fertilizers, with a yield unheard of in the traditional kitchen garden. The diversity of plants naturally protects them from contagion and parasites.
On the 'classic' boats, this growing space can be a conservatory, a tropical garden or even a warm and sheltered play area for the children.