Posts (Most Recent)

  • Starting-up Heaters without Getting Burned – Greenhouse and High Tunnel Heater Safety Checks
    As the days grow longer and warmer, we can’t help turning our attention to germination chambers, propagation houses, greenhouses, and high tunnels. It is an exciting time of year, but also a time to take some extra care with heating appliances. Before firing up the heaters in your heated growing spaces, take the time to … Read more
  • The Ag Engineering Podcast
    Where we talk tools, tips and techniques to improve the sustainability of your farm Andy was awarded a 2019 Northeast SARE Grant to produce The Ag Engineering Podcast. In this podcast, we share tools, tips and techniques to improve sustainability on your farm. It was launched in December 2019. This podcast features short-format, easy to … Read more
  • Ventilation in Greenhouses and High Tunnels
    I had the pleasure of facilitating a workshop at the 2019 NOFA-MA Summer Conference about Ventilation in Greenhouses and High Tunnels. It provided an opportunity to collect information from various sources, ground truth observations with growers, and to revisit some fundamentals. The big takeaway, for me, is that there are many, many ways to ventilate … Read more
  • All About Alliums – Twilight Meeting Video Recording
    Last summer we had a twilight meeting all about Alliums at High Meadows Farm on July 12th, 2018. During this meeting, farmers joined Howard Prussack of High Meadows Farm, University of Vermont Agricultural Engineer Chris Callahan and Cornell Cooperative Extension Vegetable Specialist Crystal Stewart for a field walk discussing garlic and onion production and postharvest … Read more
  • Summer Twilight Series – Event Schedule
    Join us on our series of 2019 On-Farm Workshop for Commercial Vegetable and Berry Growers! Attendance at these events is free for members of the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers Association. The cost is $10 per-person for non-members, payable on-site. Refreshments will be served. Membership in the VVBGA costs $55 per farm, per calendar year. … Read more
  • Getting Started with a Growth Chamber
    We’ve received a number of inquiries about building germination chambers so we have decided to provide some consolidated resources and guidance. An important first step is to consider what the purpose of the chamber actually is.  There are a number of horticultural practices that benefit from dedicated, environmentally controlled spaces. These include germination, starting, propagation/transplanting, … Read more
  • Launching of The Ag Engineering Podcast?!
    Hello friends and farmers! I am excited to share a new idea and am looking for your feedback and support! Today, I am releasing Episode 0 of the UVM Extension Ag Engineering Podcast! This is a short form audio segment on tools, tips, and techniques to improve the sustainability of your farm. This is a … Read more
  • Expanding Your Tunnel Vision, Manchester NH
    Andy ventured down to the high tunnel conference hosted in Manchester, NH on December 4th to expand his knowledge on protected culture. This program was co-sponsored by the Universities of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont and the Maine Organic Farmers’ and Gardeners’ Association, and was supported by Northeast SARE project LNE 15-343. His notes follow. … Read more
  • Building a Hoop House in One Day!
    A fun day of learning during a hoop house install during one single day by Nifty Hoops at Bread & Butter Farm in Shelburne VT. See photos from the day on our flickr page here: Like Nifty Hoops on facebook! Visit Nifty Hoops website: Nifty Hoops has their own YouTube Channel!… Check Out Bread … Read more
  • Improved Ventilation for High Tunnels
    I have received many inquiries about how to improve ventilation of high tunnels from growers with tunnels that have only roll-up sides. The issues they are facing tend to be either high temp, high humidity or both, leading to plant stress or disease. These situations tend to be in less than ideal sites for ventilation … Read more
  • Rats (and other rodents)
    Download the PDF version of this page here! A related webinar recording on this topic is available on the National Farmers Union YouTube channel. Key Take-aways Reduce Attraction – Minimize available food and water near growing and storage areas (cull piles, standing water in a bucket, etc.) Obviously, you’re in the food production business, so … Read more
  • Pumps and Pipes
    “Will the 007 be enough?”  is a common question in early spring as greenhouses around the region fire up and we do our best to keep seed trays and their cargo warm on the still-cool nights.  My mind instantly goes to “which movie?” And then I crash back to earth and realize this is a … Read more
  • Thermostats for Agriculture
    I am often asked by growers and processors to recommend a thermostat for a greenhouse, cooler, or postharvest process use.  There are many to choose from and their specifications can be confusing. It is important to remember just what a thermostat does. It is essentially no different from the light switch on the wall with … Read more
  • Update on Heating Greenhouses with Biomass
    This project demonstrated the use of biomass heating for greenhouse vegetable production at sites across Vermont. From 2008 through 2015, 25 growers received cost-share funds for greenhouse biomass heating systems. Related posts: Biomass Heating in Vermont Greenhouses Vermont On-Farm Biodiesel – Costs of Production Solar Hot Water Heating in Vermont Greenhouses Oilseed Economics Update 2014 … Read more
  • Calculating Greenhouse and High Tunnel Heat Loss
    I am often asked by growers to help estimate what size heater is needed for a greenhouse or what minimum temperature their high tunnel will reach at a certain outside temperature.  Below are some tools to help you do this yourself.  I have presented them in a range of complexity depending on how much you … Read more
  • LED Lights – Status, Cost/Benefit and Pro’s and Cons
    I have been receiving several inquiries recently on supplemental lighting for greenhouse production. The most common question is “Should I install LED lights to support growing?” I have found one report to be the most complete and current on this topic and wanted to share it here. Economic Analysis of Greenhouse Lighting: Light Emitting Diodes … Read more
  • Greenhouse & Tunnel Tour Video Series
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