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 …

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 …

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 …

Sharpening the Edges: Wash/Pack Efficiencies in a New Farm Building at Small Axe Farm

A video version of this case study is available here and a printable PDF is available here. Evan Perkins & Heidi Choate own and operate Small Axe Farm in Barnet, Vermont. Together, they have been farming mixed vegetables for over 20 years and have been running Small Axe Farm since 2008.  About Small Axe Farm …

Giving a Dairy Barn New Life at New Leaf Organics

A video version of this case study is available here and a printable PDF is available here. Jill Kopel owns and operates New Leaf Organics in Bristol, Vermont and has over 19 years of farming experience. After many years of growing crops and growing the business she made the decision to invest significantly in her …

Project Planning for Postharvest Efficiency, Profitability & Food Safety (Free 8-Part Packshed Webinar)

The UVM Extension Produce Safety Team has developed a video series focused on postharvest upgrades for your farm. Whether your project is organizing a relatively simple outside wash station or building a full packshed from scratch, we share the principles and practice with examples to help you make the most of it. An outline of …

Planning an Efficient and Safe Wash/Pack Area

By Chris Callahan, Hans Estrin, and Andy Chamberlin Reading not your thing? We have a free, 8-Part webinar video series that goes into depth on all of the following topics discussed below. Project Planning for Postharvest Efficiency, Profitability & Food Safety Summary Efficiency and food safety are integral parts of running a profitable and viable …

Wheels Keep Things Rolling at Root 5 Farm

A PDF of this case study is available for download here.  Danielle Allen and Ben Dana own and operate Root 5 Farm in Fairlee, Vermont. This organic vegetable farm on the Connecticut River provides over 200 CSA members, farmers market, restaurant, and wholesale customers with local, healthy food. Over 100 different varieties of crops are …

Forced Air Cooling: Field Trial Results

Last summer we performed a series of precooling trials using small-scale forced air coolers to cool eggplant, watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, zucchini, and roasting peppers. The forced air cooling was done in parallel with standard room cooling and was shown to result in cooling rates ranging from 1.2 to 2.2 times faster than room cooling. This …

Last Resort Farm Not Stalled by Dairy Barn Conversion

A PDF of this case study is available for download here. Silas Doyle-Burr is managing Last Resort Farm in Monkton, VT, taking over the operations from his parents on the farm he grew up at. The farm was purchased in 1987 and transitioned from dairy farming to vegetable production in 1993. They now grow 26 …

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