Detergents for Farm Food Contact Surfaces

Key Points An unscented, dye-free dish detergent is generally appropriate for food contact surface cleaning. Use just enough to see suds and get the surface visually clean; you know what clean looks like. Rinse off detergents unless the instructions say otherwise. Not sure about a product? Contact the manufacturer. Introduction In the Produce Safety Alliance …

“Dry Cleaning” on Produce Farms: Alternatives to Using Water & Detergents

Key points: Introducing water to a produce line or other food contact surface that is generally dry can introduce new hazards. Not all cleaning needs to include water. Handling and packing areas that are generally dry, may benefit from “dry” cleaning. Brushes, brooms, & vacuums may be used to complete necessary cleaning. Waterless cleaning products …

Farmer’s Favorites: Cleaning Tools

As part of our SCRUB Project, we have been demonstrating a wide range of Cleaning Tools for Produce Farms, on-farm with growers. This has opened up the question, “Which one(s) should I buy for this specific cleaning task?” Based on our experience and feedback from partner farms, here are some of our favorites that we’d …

Patient Pursuit of Packshed Happiness at Ananda Gardens

Patrick Sullivan and Melisa Oliva have been farming for 5 years at Ananda Gardens, a CSA Farm in Middlesex, Vermont. They have been working to grow their farm and improve their wash-pack area as they renovated the 1950s dairy barn that stood on the property. They have 150 CSA members between the fall and spring …

Washing Machine/Greens Spinner Conversion Guide

Greens spinners play a vital role making greens production profitable for the small farm. Some farms find themselves stuck in the middle, where inexpensive, small-scale spinners cause a bottleneck, but it is hard to justify a more expensive industrial, stainless steel, restaurant-style machine. If you are just getting started, we have a full overview of …

Preventing Freezing in Produce Coolers

Occasionally, during longer cold snaps, we receive a lot of questions about storage crops freezing in coolers. This post summarizes some ideas for preventing freezing. Summary Seal up the cooler box – stop drafts by sealing the cooler walls and doors. Keep produce off the floor and away from the walls – break conduction paths …

Root Washers for Produce Farms

There are many ways to wash root crops on produce farms. This guide covers a range of options from smaller farms washing by hand to larger operations with fully automated wash lines.  Watch the Webinar Root Washing Systems with Hans Estrin | VVBGA Webinar Series Spray tables Spray tables are commonly used to rinse bunched …

Warm Rooms for Storage Crops & Freeze Protection for Coolers

Some crops like winter squash and sweet potatoes are ideally kept in “warm” rooms for long-term storage. It is also helpful to have some freeze protection even in cold storage rooms during the winter months when outside temperatures drop below the storage temperature. The information below should help accomplish both of these needs simply and …

Building a Better Greens Bubbler

Introduction Leafy greens are a popular crop among consumers seeking a healthy and nutritious diet year-round. As a crop that is grown close to the ground in a variety of systems, often it is important to remove soil from the leaves before marketing. A relatively high volume dunk tank with several, typically lower volume, follow-on …

Repairing Cracks and Pitting in Concrete Floors

A video guide on this topic is available here. A printable PDF version of this guide is available here. Introduction Concrete slab floors, ramps, steps, and loading docks make it easier to move produce and produce handling equipment using wheels. The smooth surfaces also allow for easier clean up and wash down at the end …

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