Vickie’s tips for her Riga XL in Bloomington, Indiana

10 Oct

We continue to thoroughly appreciate and use our Riga Greenhouse.  Here it is
October and we’ve got young tomato plants with large green beefsteak tomatoes on
them that will be ready when the regular garden has been covered with frost.  We Image
put a 5′ Meyer lemon tree in there too and it is doing well.   Also started
pepper plants in July that will be producing all winter.

Getting one of the raised beds ready to sow in lettuces.  Have the same Swiss Chard growing in
one bed that we planted in the Spring of 2011–likewise  with an egg plant–I’ve
discovered things like Swiss Chard, peppers,  and egg plant which are normally
annuals in our growing locale become perennials in the greenhouse.  The egg
plant quit producing when it was scorching hot this summer (as did everyone’s
tomatoes, corn and beans around here this past summer) but now there are about 8
egg plants on it, really nice-sized too. 

Still using the large rain barrel positioned in a corner next to the water hydrant with four goldfish in it
to provide “diluted fertilizer.”  That is working quite fine and is fun for
grandchildren and others too.

-Note: She has been very successful growing Stevia — yes, that natural sweetener — in her greenhouse.


New Cathedral Greenhouse just up in Arizona

8 Jun

Our Eco Kitchen Compost Pail named No. 1!

12 Mar

Out of the blue, our Eco Kitchen Compost Pail has drawn the attention of a composter reviewer.

Have a look!

Keeping Cool!

22 Aug
Here in Texas, we’re in the dog days — that’s for sure!  We’ve had a few people send in their recommendations for dealing with extreme temperatures when it comes to their greenhouses.  Here are some summer cooling tips for Riga greenhouses in the (very!) hot Southwest —  from George G. in Tucson:
“We purchased our RIGA IV greenhouse on 9/17/07 and have enjoyed it since.  We grow year round in Arizona using a small heater during the winter and an evaporative cooler during the summer… We use the Mobile Symphony ‘Aspen’ evaporative cooler for the hot months.  The model #MMB8 or MMB10.  This is available at your local Home Depot or check online for other options.  This company is based in PHX and has changed owners several times in the last few years.  Just get one with a hose feed, so you don’t have to worry about filling reservoirs if you look at different brands.  Keep things simple.  This model accommodates approximately 700 square feet.”
Best of luck to all of you who are bearing this summer heat with us!

Stories About Our RIGA Greenhouses

29 Jul

One of our favorite things at Exaco is hearing back from customers who love our products.  Even in searching the web, we are able to find many savvy gardeners who have put their own spin on the product and who have blogged/tweeted/uploaded pictures to share with a community of fellow gardening lovers.

In all honestly, this Texas heat has got us longing for winter and so when we ran across these pictures of our RIGA greenhouse, we couldn’t help but repost!

Don't you just love the Christmas lights Karin Kirk hung on her greenhouse?

One of the great things about the RIGA greenhouse is that it will help you grow all those things that you would normally have a difficult time growing during the winter months.  But don’t take our word for it:

“Before we began this journey in 2008, I knew I wanted a greenhouse and that it would expand my gardening possibilities. What I did not anticipate is how satisfying and fun the whole thing would be. I really love gathering food from the greenhouse nearly all year long, I enjoy spending time in there and hanging out with my plants. I like that I can grow really nice, strong plants to plant elsewhere in the yard, and I like that I can experiment in all sorts of ways.”

To see more of the thread where Karin posted her thoughts and photos (there are a lot!), click here.

Sometimes, though, customers will send their photos and stories directly to us.

This one, given all the terrible stories about tornadoes around the country, really stood out when a customer sent it to us this past May.
“It was Wednesday that we assembled the walls and we got it all put together minus the doors and windows before the big storm hit that evening.  Bloomington, IN made the national news due to an F1 tornado that did damage just south of the city and in the city as well.  We live about 8 miles NW of Bloomington and while we had some wind, our main damage came from a long hailstorm with hail the size of 50 cent pieces.  The greenhouse appears to have come through it with no damage whatsoever.

That's some big hail!

We appreciate all your comments and posts, so please keep sending them in.  And to learn more about our Riga greenhouses, check out the page on our site here.
Garden on!

Nabisco Gets in on the “Grow Your Own” Movement

22 Jul

A mid-day snack today made me aware of just how pervasive the “grow your own” movement is becoming in the U.S.
I was munching some Triscuits and happened to notice the cracker maker now has a “Plant a Seed – Grow a Movement” initiative.

The box has a removable cardboard panel on the back with 10 basil seeds and instructions on how to grow them for fresh herbs. They say they have included the seeds on 8 million boxes, and support the Urban Farming and the Home Farming Movement for community-based home farms around the country.
Nabisco also mentions that there  is a Home Farming Tool online at (might check it out!).
It’s a small step, but a nudge in the right direction.
Makes me proud that we’re helping folks trying a bigger “grow-your-own” movement.
Happy gardening!

Kim Cook

Compost Featured in Cook’s Magazine

18 Jul

This past May, our ECO kitchen compost collector was featured in Cook’s Magazine as a “highly recommended” green way to deal with kitchen scraps!  Below is their description.

Exaco Trading Kitchen Compost Waste Collector

This inexpensive green plastic pail is 8½ inches wide at the base and fits on the counter or in a cabinet under the sink. Food scraps broke down as expected, and odors were completely contained. We fit an average of 12 recipes’ worth of waste before having to empty the bucket. The hinged lid was easy to flick open and closed with a single hand, and the latch kept the lid secure. (A pack of three replacement filters is $7.95; the filter is supposed to be changed every three months.)

Exaco Trading Kitchen Compost Waste Collector

Our ECO kitchen compost is perfect for collecting organic waste in the kitchen so that you can later add it to your larger outdoor compost.  Having one of these around can prevent sending up to 30% of household waste to a landfill!  For more information about our kitchen compost, check out its page on our site here.

It’s wonderful to see that our products are making a difference and being recognized for it.  To see the page where we’ve been featured, click here!

European Adventures

17 Jun

Andrew Cook is off to Europe for his regular visits with major suppliers of Exaco’s greenhouses and composters, including Germany’s Hoklartherm, maker of the Riga line of high-quality polycarbonate greenhouses.

Hoklartherm’s Rondo Pavilion — introduced by Exaco — was a showstopper in May at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas.

As a family-owned wholesale distributor based in Austin, TX we bring to the United States unique and eco-friendly lawn and garden products from around the world.

Another new supplier that Andrew will be visiting is Austria’s Juwel, the maker of the newly introduced NovaPlus Rotary Clothes-Line Dryer and wall-mounted Samba dryer.

(As a side benefit Andrew also gets to drive through the beautiful Austrian Alps, visit family in Holland, and see the latest on what eco-forward Europeans are doing to save the environment, beautify their homes and enhance their gardening experience).