I kept forgetting what it was I was going to see on Thursday of this past week. A bio what? Sounds kind of like a place to go during the nuclear Holocaust nightmares of the last century. A bio shelter, in my layman's understanding, is basically an environmentally sustainable greenhouse. Lance and I traveled up rt. 79 about an hour and half to visit, plant and learn. The farmer who owns the bio shelter is a certified organic farmer who provides fresh greens to many expensive restaurants in Pittsburgh, some that I remember are Eleven, and all the Big Burrito Restaurants. The bio shelter actually had two floors, the second floor being the warmest. That is where the tomato plants were being started. The first floor contained many raised beds with various greens. Inside the temperature was nice and warm, outside there was snow piled up about 5 inches. This place was "environmentally sustainable" because it uses solar energy to heat itself. The sun's heat makes the ceiling very warm where there is duct work. The warm air is drawn from the ceiling and blown under the raised beds into cavities of stone. The warmth then raises into the beds of soil, making the plants grow all winter. During the coldest months and days there is a wood burning stove to supplement the heat created by the sun.
The real reason for our trip was to plant the rest of our seeds (we've run out of space in my house). They'll sit under his grow lights for about two weeks when we'll go back up to transplant them into larger pots.
We'll be taking a trip with more people in a couple weeks. Let me know if you want to join us.