Simple DIY Outside Air Exchange

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 […]

Processing Mature Green Tomatoes

DIY Auto-fill Humidifier

I recently built a humidifier I think others might find useful.  This could be useful for cheese aging, meat curing, and storage of winter crops all of which require maintaining specific temperature and humidity. The details are available on the Tool Wiki at FarmHack.  Take a look, and let me know if you find ways […]

2013 UVM Mobile Hops Harvester Summary

The UVM Mobile Hops Harvester visited six hop yards this year, harvesting approximately 400 dry pounds of hops, over a 4 week period plus harvesting the UVM Extension NW Crops and Soils Team’s research hop yard. This harvester, developed as a result of a Northeast Hops Alliance, UVM Extension, VT Agency of Ag Food and […]

Food Storage Workshops

UVM Extension with support from the USDA’s Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program will offer five one-day workshops on crop storage throughout Vermont this fall. Workshops will focus on long-term storage of crops for sale through the winter and into early spring, but will be relevant to many agricultural and food storage needs. Topics […]

How Refrigerators Work: “Principles of Refrigeration”

1944 US Office of Education video on refrigeration principles.  Excellent.

Practical Produce Safety – April 11, 2013 – Vergennes/Monkton

Had a great time talking about all the ways we can get sick from produce related pathogens yesterday.  The good news is that the bulk of the workshop was focused on ways to mitigate the risks. The Practical Produce Safety workshop series coordinated by Ginger Nickerson (UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture) and Hans Estrin (UVM […]

CoolBots(TM): Inexpensive Cold Storage

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 […]

FIDO – A Do-it-yourself Temperature Monitor with Text Message Alerts

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 […]

Wash and Pack Stations

This is a great video overview from the Cornell Cooperative Extension Small Farms Project with helpful guidance on wash and pack station layout. More on the Cornell Small Farm Project can be found here.  This video was part of a NE-SARE funded project. Some highlights: Cover – prepare for all conditions; rain, wind, cold, heat […]