Farm to Plate Energy Success Stories

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, […]

Oilseed Economics Update 2014

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 […]

Vermont On-Farm Biodiesel – Costs of Production

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 […]

How Refrigerators Work: “Principles of Refrigeration”

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

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 […]

Bioenergy NOW!

The Vermont Bioenergy Initiative, a project of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund recently released a series of videos summarizing their bioenergy related projects through-out Vermont. Visit the YouTube channel for all the videos.

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 […]

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 […]

Efficiency Vermont Incentives for Agriculture

      Are you considering any equipment upgrades in the near future.  Check Efficiency Vermont’s webpage to research available technologies and to see if any of their many incentives apply to you. They have a set of rebates specific to agriculture and some for commercial refrigeration which may apply to folks with refrigerated storage on […]