Sustainable Solar-Dynamic Bio-Benign Design:
Offering Better Ways to Live, at Less Cost
Today and Tomorrow, Anywhere on Earth


Solviva Home Page  |  Solviva Book  |  Reviews & Comments
Important Quotes  | 
Designs & Consulting
  Wastewater  | Greyburg or Greendale, and other Proposals
Book 2 - Choosing for Our Lives  |  Yarn & Sweaters
  Recommended Reading & Documentaries



First of all, the 3-acre southeast portion of the Solviva Farm that was for sale has been sold.

Second, the Solviva greenhouse is now gone. People ask "why?" So here I offer the updated information that is included in the second printing of the SOLVIVA book.

Update on the Solviva Greenhouse

Whatever happened to the Solviva Farm?
And why is Solviva Salad (still proclaimed by past clients as the best salad greens ever) no longer available?
Well, here is the story: even before the end of it's first year, the Solviva greenhouse design had already proven itself to be a roaring success, and it was beginning to attract attention. The more productive it became the more famous it became, as the news was reported on TV, radio, in magazines and newspapers all across the US and around the world. Thousands of inquires poured in via mail and telephone. Hundreds of visitors came from near and far, wanting to see for themselves. Many wanted to stay, for a couple of days or weeks, to learn as much as possible.

My primary mission was to prove that a greenhouse like this was capable of producing extraordinarily high yields of the highest quality food, continuously through the coldest winter without any heating fuel, and without any cooling fans in summer, and without any toxic pesticides ever. Once that mission was successfully proven, my next task was to pass this information on to others as effectively as possible. Thus, while working days in the greenhouse, at night I wrote reports and articles, and drew up all the designs in minute detail. And I responded to all the thousands of inquiries, and hand-assembled and mailed hundreds of information packets. And I went wherever I was invited, near and far, to give slide presentations, lectures, workshops or consulting. It soon became apparent that I had to write a book in order to lay out the problems and the solutions as clearly as possible.
And with all this, plus skin problems on my hands, and back problems, plus training and supervising employees, and doing payrolls and accounting, and… and ….well, after eight or so years, it became obvious that I had to choose between concentrating on the Solviva Salad business or passing on the information about Solviva designs and methods. I chose the latter.
Thus, I offered the Solviva Salad business, with greenhouse and grounds (at very low rent) to young people who had worked with me and who felt this was their dream come true. At first it was great, but, depending on season, beaches or ski slopes beckoned stronger than fidelity to business, and soon weeds grew tall and thick, seedlings died from drowning or drought, and thus production and income plummeted. As one enthusiast became disillusioned another took over but soon also crashed. I tried to help and encourage, but this was seen as "mothering" and was not really welcomed.
Passing by that corner of my property every day, it gradually became intolerable to see the Solviva greenhouse sink into a mockery of its former self .... grubby, broken, weed-infested, and littered with junk. So after 10 years of watching this morbid decline I lost hope of anyone ever coming onboard to restore the greenhouse to its former glory, and I finally decided to sell the three acres surrounding the greenhouse.
Close examination revealed that the basic wood framing was still in excellent condition (amazingly, there was non of the rot that so many had predicted). I therefore designed a dream home with the greenhouse A-frame as a core, with a 64 x 6-foot swimming pool, 6 x 8-foot hot tub, sauna, 600 sq.ft. indoor garden, and enough PV to provide all the power needed for the home plus for 2 all-electric cars (see below).

But, unfortunately, the people who ended up buying the property already had another house design in mind.
The day the Solviva greenhouse was demolished was heart-wrenching and stomach-churning. After it was done and the ground smoothed over, I shuddered with relief. Now the memories of its former glory could live on, unimpeded by the havoc that ensued after I abandoning it.
There is now a new home on the old greenhouse site. It is tight and well insulated, but is definitely not a solar house: it has few and small windows facing south, and many very large windows facing north. But unlike most houses which are utterly dependent on distant, expensive and insecure gas or oil for heating, and/or the hard work and mess of many cords of wood, this new home has geothermal heating, costing (they say) about $10/month for heating and cooling. I have no personal experience with this, but am definitely intrigued by this technology, much used in Sweden, my native land. Unfortunately this home has a standard septic system, with about 100 feet of deep gravel-filled leaching trenches through which most of the nitrogen will leach into the groundwater, running toward their well about 150 feet away. You can read more about this in the update addendum in the second printing of the SOLVIVA book.

Some people have thought the first part of the SOLVIVA book's sub-title a bit audacious ("How to Grow $500,000 on One Acre…"). I would probably agree, IF I had not personally had the experience of growing phenomenal quantities of salad greens on a tiny piece of land. Of course, I never did grow the Solviva Salad on a full acre (such as the design on p.42 in the book), but instead on less than 1/14th acre (indoors) for the
seven cold months, and on only 1/8th acre (outdoors) for the five warm months (in summer I used the greenhouse for growing mostly tomatoes, cantaloupes, basil and peppers).
Based on my experience, I still believe that it is possible to generate a gross income of $500,000 on one acre, IF it is done with great efficiency, steadily rolling full production, consistently highest quality and totally reliable delivery.
In fact, I now believe it is possible to do considerably better than that. This is because of further improvements I have developed on designs and production methods.
First of all, initial investment can be reduced. Instead of building a wood-frame structure like I did, an energy-selfsufficient greenhouse can be created by "Solvivizing" a standard metal-frame double-poly greenhouse (a whole freestanding greenhouse or half a greenhouse built against the south side of a barn or other building), with new or second-hand frame, and with new highest-light-transmission double-poly glazing (but without the energy-guzzling standard heaters and cooling fans). Then add all the various Solviva features, such as the animals (chickens most recommended) for heat, co2 and compost, as well as the Earthlung Filter, the Waterwall, subsoil solar heat storage, PV solar electricity, multi-level growing areas, large vents for summer cooling without fans, insulated north, east, west walls, as well as rat-proof insulated foundation slab.
Secondly, both pounds-per-square-foot and income-per-pound can be increased by growing "micro-mix" salad greens, or "mini-greens" (2-4 weeks from sprout to harvest instead of the 6-8-week medium-sized-leaf method that I used). This mixture of clean small salad leaves is clearly the highest-value form of salad greens: some claim an incredible market value of $30-40 per pound! Of course, highest price depends on impeccable quality and delivery, but even so one can never count on such prices: we all know that market value fluctuates in accordance with supply and demand.
Thirdly, time-per-pound can be reduced because this method requires no transplanting, only seeding direct into grow-trays, whereas my previous method required 3 stages: seeding, transplanting into six-packs, and final planting into beds or growtubes, each stage very time-consuming.
(This new method does not use PVC growtubes. The PVC never gave off any odor or flavor, and therefore I was not worried about polluting the salad greens, but I have come to think that we must minimize the use of PVC because the manufacturing process is definitely causing harm (although this can be prevented with biocarbon filters).
I have described and drawn these new designs and methods in minute detail, and they are available at very reasonable price (see pages 230-232 in the second printing of the SOLVIVA book for the list with descriptions and prices of the various Solviva designs).
Thus, for the one-acre max-income farm depicted (page 42) I would probably chose to have several 3000 sq.ft. Solvivized standard poly greenhouses instead of one large wood-framed Solviva greenhouse.
It is important to point out that I have not actually used these new methods large-scale myself, but, based on my 8-year experience being the "Captain of the Solviva ship", and on my continuously evolving knowledge, designs and calculations, I can still with confidence extrapolate that it is indeed possible to generate a gross annual income of $500,000, or more, on one acre.

This is the part of my property that was for sale, and has now been sold:

View across the pasture

Late afternoon sun streaming across the meadow

Solviva Greenhouse 1984 (now gone)
Outside: below zero F. Inside: 80 degrees F
without any heating fuel. To learn more about this remarkable greenhouse go to the
"Solviva Book: visit Solviva" section on this website.
A pond with waterlilies lies in front of the greenhouse.

The land includes part of this lovely pond, with a rich ecosystem that includes frogs, turtles and fish.
49 species of birds have been sighted on this land, including Great Blue Heron, Snowy Egrets, Kingfishers, Osprey and many different kinds of hawks.

And this was my dream for how a new owner could transform the Solviva greenhouse:

Solviva 2001: Next Generation.
A possible transformation of the Solviva Greenhouse.

A design for transforming the energy-selfsufficient organic food-producing Solviva
Solar Greenhouse into the Solviva Solar-Dynamic Bio-Benign Solviva Home/Spa.

A unique and wondrous opportunity
to own the penultimate clean-green home/farm/spa/studio/business.
Offering truly sustainable living to inspire the world.

Electricity Production: 2000 sq.ft. of photovoltaic (PV) panels to produce 30,000 kwh
(30 megawatts) per year, plus 2-4 small windmills, plus energy-generating exercise equipment. Enough electricity to power all home and business requirements plus 2 electric cars.
Saving $4500/year.

Heating and Hot Water: 2000 sq.ft. of solar roof and translucent glass, with additional heat provided by wood stoves and animals (horses and chickens) living in the northside barn.
Heat Storage: 6000 cu.ft. of concrete, water and soil to store solar and wood heat.
Superinsulation throughout, including the animal areas.
The Solviva Solar Roof and cross ventilation provide efficient summer cooling, without the need for exhaust fans.
Savings: $3000-4000 per year on heating and cooling.

Wastewater Management: Bio-Benign Solviva compostoilet and composting flushtoilets, and graywater irrigation system, 90% less polluting than normal septic systems. Protecting the groundwater.

Food Production: 600 sq.ft. of raised growing beds in full sun, plus outdoor gardens, to produce organic tomatoes, salad greens, vegetables and herbs all year-round for the residents and visitors plus several families beyond. Saving megabucks and improving health.

Swimming Pool:
64 feet long by 6 feet wide, heated by solar and wood. Other option: Endless Pool.
Hot Tub: 6 x 8 feet, heated by solar and wood, surrounded by lounging area.
Sauna: 8 x 14 feet, heated by solar and wood.
Exercise Equipment: Various resistance devises, all connected to generators for producing electricity.
Spacious adjacent bathroom with shower, and surrounded with lush rainforest plants.

Great Room: open 24 x 36 feet spacious kitchen/dining/lounging areas. Wood stove and fireplace.
Master bedroom/office suite, 24 x 32 feet, with kitchenette, full bath and wood stove.
Second large bedroom/office suite, 16 x 20 feet, with kitchenette, full bath and wood stove.
6 small bedrooms, 10 x 10 feet, with single beds opening to double, to accommodate 6 - 12 family members/visitors/students.
Bathrooms: 4 full, each with bath, shower, sink and flushtoilet, all with bio-benign compost/filter systems, that release 80-90% less nitrogen to the groundwater than standard septic systems.

Animal accommodations:
Animals are incorporated for the purpose of providing heat, co2, organic compost fertilizer, organic eggs and meat (chicken, turkey, lamb), as well as company, love and fun.
Stable for 5 horses and 10 sheep (or 9 horses). Spacious coop for 30 chickens and 10 turkeys.
Odor-free deep bedding system.
Compost bins and storage for grain and hay, leaves and shavings.


How to contact Anna Edey, Solviva, Trailblazer Press:
18 Solviva Road, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568
Tel: (508) 693-3341- - Cell phone: (774) 563-0898 - - Fax: (508) 693-2228
e-mail:, website:

AND, as of January 2014, at Blog/Website: