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 […]

2013 VVBGA Annual Meeting

I had the pleasure of joining the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Grower’s Association yesterday for their annual meeting.  This event is packed with presentations ranging from the latest pests to farmer outreach in distant lands. My talk was on crop storage, and it was a great chance to summarize my recent work in this area.  […]

Remote Data Monitoring – 1st Install at Pete’s Greens

As an engineer, I love data.  It turns out farmers do also.  At least, Pete Johnson and Isaac Jacobs at Pete’s Greens in Craftsbury, VT do. “Is it working yet?” Isaac asks as I put the finishing touches on the remote data monitoring system we have been installing in the four zone drive-in cooler. “Just […]

UC Davis Guide: Small-Scale Postharvest Practices

This guide from the UC Davis Postharvest Center is jam packed with information relevant to VT’s small-scale growers seeking improved post-harvest handling and processing. I think it is a nice companion to the New England Vegetable Management Guide and USDA’s Handbook 66. The UC Davis Postharvest Center has a wonderful on-line library with many other […]

VPR Series on VT Food – All Week on Morning Edition

Visit VPR’s site to listen to archived episodes. “VPR looks at the economic impact of food production in Vermont in the special series The Business of Food. All this week during Morning Edition, we’re looking at the expansion of farmer’s markets from a summer calendar schedule to a year-round operation, how community planners in southeastern […]

Food Storage Survey Results

Thanks to all of those who took the time to respond to the food storage survey several weeks back.  The information you provided has been really helpful.  A clear desire for additional programming in this area was expressed, and I’ll be working to develop that. Here are the survey result highlights: 82% of respondents expressed […]