I am often asked by growers to help estimate what size heater is needed for a greenhouse or what minimum temperature their high tunnel will reach at a certain outside temperature. Below are some tools to help you do this yourself. I have presented them in a range of complexity depending on how much you […]
In colder climates winter storage crops have been stored in passive root cellars for centuries, striking the balance between outside conditions and storage conditions. Although modern refrigeration systems are generally used for large scale, longer-term storage of these crops some enterprises seek lower cost and high energy efficiency options. Outside air exchange systems use an […]
Vermont’s Comprehensive Energy Plan calls for obtaining 90% of the state’s energy from renewable sources by 2050 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50% from a 1990 baseline. What role can Vermont’s food system play in advancing this goal? The Energy Cross-cutting Team of the Farm to Plate Network has released seven Energy Success Stories that showcase farms, businesses, […]
Yesterday we held our annual Oilseed Producer’s Meeting. At this meeting, I presented an economic overview of oilseeds in Vermont. Ina nutshell, Vermont has an installed on-farm biodiesel capacity of 600,000 gal/yr (5 sites) with a normalized initial cost of $1/gal of capacity (better than national average). Fuel can be produced for an average cost […]
I recently co-authored a summary of the economics of on-farm biodiesel with Netaka White from the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. This report collects the economic and logistic learning from the past seven years of the Vermont Bioenergy Initiative (VBI). The VBI has supported a wide range of sustainable fuel related efforts in Vermont. Along with […]
1944 US Office of Education video on refrigeration principles. Excellent.
Demand for on-farm cold storage of produce and other Vermont agricultural products is increasing as local markets for these goods expand. I receive many inquiries regarding CoolBotsTM, an adaptation of a window air-conditioner to make a cooler out of an insulated space. This article is intended to collect related resources in one place and to […]
As I’ve mentioned in several other posts, I think the continual monitoring of conditions in greenhouses and food storage spaces is incredibly important for quality and safety and insightful for any operation. There is a really clever design for a do-it-yourself temperature monitoring system called Fido, on the FarmHack site. It uses an Arduino control […]