This guide provides background on planning for drains and drainage from produce wash and pack areas. Direct drains, floor and spot drains, and trench and gutter drains are discussed. A construction drawing for a trench drain is also provided.Continue reading “Drains for Produce Farms”
Authored by Phil Tocco, Michigan State University & Chris Callahan, University of Vermont
View or download a PDF of this factsheet here.
Many small farmers rely on cats to control rodents on farms. These “working animals” seem like a good way to limit crop loss and reduce other produce safety risks from rodents. Unfortunately, cats bring risks of their own. Cats are the only full-cycle host of a protozoan parasite called Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii or ‘toxo’).
The FSMA Produce Safety Rule generally requires “measures reasonably necessary to prevent the introduction of known or reasonably foreseeable hazards into covered produce” (112.11). The rule specifically requires an assessment of areas where covered activities take place for evidence of potential contamination, and evaluate whether covered produce can be harvested if there is a reasonable probability of contamination (112.83). This includes the observation of an animal in a production or handling area such as a greenhouse or packing shed.Continue reading “Risks Posed by Cats on Produce Farms”
This is a guide to understanding the differences between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. It is focused on produce farms and is motivated by current concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.Continue reading “A Guide to Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting for Produce Farms”
The current COVID-19 pandemic is a common concern and many are wondering what they can and should do. The information here is intended to help guide the fruit and vegetable farming community. If you have concerns or additional suggestions please contact the UVM Extension Produce Safety Team (firstname.lastname@example.org / (802) 257-7967) or the VT Agency of Agriculture’s Produce Program for additional guidance (email@example.com / (802) 828-2433).
Listen on the The Ag Engineering Podcast.
Please also see the compiled resources at the UVM Extension VT Vegetable and Berry Growers Page.Continue reading “Considerations for Fruit and Vegetable Growers Related to Coronavirus & COVID-19”
By Chris Callahan, Hans Estrin, and Andy Chamberlin
Efficiency and food safety are integral parts of running a profitable and viable farm, producing high-quality produce, and retaining valuable employees. This integration should start with a vision in the planning stage of all postharvest projects.Continue reading “Planning an Efficient and Safe Wash/Pack Area”
UVM Extension’s own television program Across The Fence did a segment on a project we’ve been working on related to greens spinners. You can watch the video clip here explaining why small farms are making use of washing machines as greens spinners and what we are doing to help make them more feasible.Continue reading “Across The Fence: Mean Green(s) Washing Machine (TV Segment on Greens Spinners)”
This blog post is for those using or considering a converted washing machine as greens spinner.
For background information on several different types of greens spinners and general thoughts on using washing machine conversions see this blog post.
There are a few things to consider when shopping for a washing machine to convert into a greens spinner. Like most things, it comes down to:
- How much you want to spend, and
- What features are important to you. Continue reading “Washing Machine Greens Spinners: Shopping Advice”
All of our resources are available here on this blog. However, if you are looking for a printed handout, here is a list. These are all of the PDF documents that we share during workshops, meetings, and presentations. All links will open the PDF in a new tab.Continue reading “Ag Engineering Downloadable PDF Resources”
Have a washing machine that you want to convert into a greens spinner?
Have you already done the conversion, but want to improve it?
Join us for one of two hands-on, intensive workshops this fall focused on getting the job done and doing it well. Continue reading “Washing Machine Greens Spinner Workshop”
With innovative tools becoming more available for salad greens production from field prep through harvest, mixed greens are becoming more attractive for farmers. Postharvest handling and wash/pack still causes a bottleneck for many farms. Today we share some knowledge on a piece of equipment recently adopted at Jericho Settlers Farm in Jericho, VT.
This Greens Washline is made by China Joy Equipment. They call it an “Air Bubble Washing Machine.” This has been an affordable piece of equipment to allow their farm to scale up greens production for $13,900. Mark Fasching from Jericho Settlers Farm was gracious enough to share some of his experiences sourcing this machine from the other side of the world.