Russ Finch geothermal greenhouse


Russ Finch has become well known over the years for his geothermal Greenhouse In The Snow which he constructed in Alliance Nebraska with the assistance and support of his wife, Darlene. Over the past 30 years, through much trial-and-error, they have improved it's efficiency in growing fruits, vegetables, and flowers year around.

Although their first geothermal greenhouse was constructed in 1992, Russ and Darlene designed and built a geo-air home in 1979, after reading about 'low-grade' geothermal heating in the early 70's, while Russ was working for the US Postal Service.  In 1980 they added the atrium to their geo-house which encouraged them to later build the geothermal greenhouse, some years later, in 1992.

In 1972, a young Agriculture consultant named Barry Naef, published a news bulletin called, "Grow In The Snow" which was widely distributed throughout the northeast and midwestern Ag bureaus and greenhouse trade. The bulletin was targeted to alert the agriculture industry, nurserymen's associations, and greenhouse trade, to this very useful 'free energy' which Naef called 'earth heat'.

The 'earth heat' news bulletin from 1972 was the inspiration for many agriculture, permaculture, and free-energy enthusiasts in the 1970's and '80's as the concept slowly began to grow throughout the US, Canada, Europe, and a couple of countries in South America.

Although many thousands read Naef's report on 'earth heat' in the early 1970's, Russ Finch was one of the very first to get brave enough and build a home, atrium, and workshop using this 'Grow In The Snow' concept initiated by Barry Naef. Russ was certainly a pioneer...

This website, "Citrus In The Snow" is dedicated specifically to Russ Finch, who quietly has tested this free 'geo-air' technology using the low-grade geothermal heat 8 feet below, to grow and document dozens of varieties of flowers, fruits, and vegetables, at a time when others were doubtful of Naef's free earth-heat and geo-solar concepts for commercial use.

The Citrus In The Snow publication began in 2009 when Barry Naef asked Russ to allow him to publish the notes he and Darlene had made for many years since 1979, which also included many photos by Darlene Finch, year-by-year.

Citrus In The Snow, of course highlights some of the more popular conversations about Russ, especially his dedicated experimentation with Citrus crops; various types of oranges, limes, and grapefruit.

Almost like a diary, Citrus In The Snow offers important insight on the progress and testing year-after-year, from 1979 to the present in 2023, including his most recent greenhouse collapse in late December 2022--how it happened, why it happened, and what should be done with every greenhouse design to prevent these sad events. Greenhouses and grow-rooms do not need to collapse.  

In January 2010, as Russ was recovering from his first greenhouse collapse, he met again with geothermal greenhouse consultant, Barry Naef, to go over his new greenhouse design and rebuild.

Naef had three main concerns as Russ rebuilt his greenhouse,

1) An opportunity to re-design the geo-air system to obtain much better energy efficiency,
2) To design the new Finch pit-style greenhouse to avoid flooding and heat loss,
3) To create a better shape and design to avoid future structural collapse.

Although Naef had many years of experience, and engineers on staff, Russ disregarded his concerns and felt things were good enough, and Russ made no significant improvements to the new Finch greenhouse design.

Sadly, the new design Finch greenhouse, built by Allen Bright at Antioch Machine, LLC, in Alliance, Nebraska did collapse again recently, in late December 2022, ...and all was lost due to design and construction failures.

The "Citrus In The Snow" story, and publication is even more valuable now.

This is not just a 30 year report on 'geothermal energy systems' and 'greenhouses', but a report on the absolute importance of 'properly designed and constructed greenhouses'. 

Geothermal, geo-air, and geo-solar systems are ifficient, and are not the issue. Properly designed greenhouses are the issue...

Are You Serious?
If you are truly serious about a geothermal greenhouse, or any greenhouse, please read this publication before you proceed with plans or construction of your greenhouse.

The GreenCube Research Institute is not just part a green-energy research group since the early 1960's, but we also specialize in extremely low cost publications and educational resources globally. We're happy for our wonderful years with Russ Finch and his project. (Green Quest)

Our organization has recently prepared a very low-cost, but very informative package of three (3) essential publications for only $8. You won't regret the small investment, and you can see the Index pages of all three publications by clicking on the link below:


Our best,
Green Cube Research Institute
   division, Green Quest Holdings

Green Cube Research Institute

Copyright © 2010-2023 Russ Finch, Barry Naef, and GreenCube Research Institute
Photo credit: Chris Amundson 
Co-authored and compiled by Barry Naef
Legally authorized publication by Russ Finch and Barry Naef since 2010

Graphics copyright GreenCube staff
Website managed by GreenCube Research Institute

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Green Quest Holdings