UVM Extension Ag Engineering

Hygienic and Sanitary Design for Produce Farms

Hygienic design intentionally creates or improves spaces and equipment so they can be cleaned and sanitized as appropriate. This post, associated PDF guide and checklist (PDF and Excel) are tools we developed to help apply hygienic and sanitary design practice on produce farms. These tools cover the five key principles of hygienic design for produce […]

Backflow Prevention for Produce Farms

The intentional, directional, and reliable flow of water is important to ensure agricultural water is “safe and of adequate sanitary quality”. This post provides information on the importance of backflow prevention and some common practices that help mitigate the risk of backflow. You can also view presentation slides and a recorded webinar on this topic […]

Staying Ahead in the Packshed: Postharvest Topics, Sources of Information, and Ideas from Growers

Last Fall we surveyed growers in the region about postharvest topics in preparation for a USDA NE SARE proposal. That proposal has been funded! Growers who responded assigned a high level of importance to aggregated postharvest knowledge (4.5/5.0, n=56) while indicating poor availability of the information (3.3/5.0, n=57). Several ideas for research topics were provided […]

Getting Started with a Growth Chamber

We’ve received a number of inquiries about building germination chambers so we have decided to provide some consolidated resources and guidance. An important first step is to consider what the purpose of the chamber actually is.  There are a number of horticultural practices that benefit from dedicated, environmentally controlled spaces. These include germination, starting, propagation/transplanting, […]

Cooler Construction Options – Walls and Panels

There are many options when it comes to constructing a walk-in cooler, cold room, or warm room for on-farm storage. The main goals for construction of any temperature and humidity controlled space are: Insulate the walls to provide for efficiency temperature control against a different outside temperature (which may be an warmer inside space) Seal […]

Lessons in Ergonomics from My Grandmother

I recently had the opportunity to record a public service announcement (PSA) for WDEV.  This is part of a series of PSA’s the UVM Extension colleagues contribute to. I decided to focus on ergonomics and shared some lessons from my grandmother and other sources. Click below to listen. The text and additional resources are available […]

Simple Ergonomics and Lean Thinking at Chewonki Farm

I recently visited Chewonki, a school, camp, and farm in Wisscasset, ME that had a recent visit from an ergonomics consultant at their beautiful new pack shed. Some insurance companies offer these visits for free as an injury (and claim) prevention measure. Several things that struck me: They were experimenting with different heights for wash […]

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