Expanding the range of options for year round agriculture

The Sustainable Year-Round Agriculture Cluster Initiative is network of farmers, entreprenuers, educators and innovators who are working to expand access to year round farm infrastructure. The cluster initiative is developing and trialing the “Range of Year Round Options for Year Round Agriculture”  which include new greenhouse and infrastructure options as well as tools and tech that help farmers compete in the marketplace and maintain a skilled work-force twelve months of the year.  

DEMONSTRATION SITES

Little River Flower Farm

For over 18 years Bruce and Nancy Stedman have worked their land year-round. They are certified organic, in-ground growers that sell via Whole Foods, CSAs and direct to Portland area restaurants.

Little River Flower Farm wanted to expand production while reducing significant energy bills associated with heating and lighting costs. Over the past three years, Bruce and Nancy lost several greenhouses to the considerable weight of snow that accumulates during Maine winters. They commissioned ArchSolar to build a structurally sound greenhouse that would reduce their energy inputs while raising crop outputs. They wanted a solution that was sustainable both environmentally and economically, and would allow them to switch to renewable energy as well as generate their own electricity.

Olivia’s Garden

Olivia’s Garden is a year-round hydroponic greenhouse facility operated by Scott Howard and his team at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester.

Scott has refined and improved his approach to what he calls a “self-contained ecosystem”. His team has pioneered an system of Intergrated Pest Management for year round vegetable production using beneficial predatory insects to keep havrvest schedules on track without chemical sprays.Additional year-round developments include trialing various lighting systems on the market to reduce energy consumption during winter and whether the addition of a aquaponics system can benefit his bottom line.

Tao Yuan Restuarant

Tao Yuan is the culmination of the nearly two decades that the Mother/Daughter team of Cara and Cecile Stadler have spent by each other’s sides in the kitchen.

Tao Yuan’s first foray into year round agriculture will take place in a new urban rooftop greenhouse located directly behind their restuarant on Pleasant St in downtown Brunswick. The new facility will house a climate controlled year-round greenhouse, a test kitchen and an aquaponics system. They are also working with the Harpswell Coastal Academy and regional schools to use the facility as Maine’s only educational rooftop production facility

Waldoboro Business ParK

Waldoboro business park, and its tenant Acadia Harvest Interational, LLC, have teamed up to create a quanset style production facility with major improvments in heating and energy

The quanset structure is useful across industries for climate controlled storage. Noteworthy features of this facility are the PV intergrated roof, phase-change insulation for increased storage and ‘night-time slow-release’ of BTU’s generated from from passive solar heat generated during the day, and an active solar wall where hot air frm the sun is trapped in the wall and either utilized to heat the building or dischargeed automatically if no heat is needed.

INNOVATION

PARTNERS

Your Team

The Sustainable Year Round Agriculture Cluster Initiative is made up of group of key partners who work with a diverse network of educational, and industry stakeholders

Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society

Project Manager

MESAS serves as the overall Project Manager for the Cluster Initiative

 

ArchSolar

Technical Architect

Along with Maine Asia, ArchSolar serves as the technical architect for the project overseeing the introduction of new solar and composite technologies going into greenhouse and farm infrastructure designs

Maine Technology Institute

Project Funder

MTI is the primary funder for the Cluster Initiative and oversees the advancement of new business and job creation in Maine

Educational Partners

Harpswell Coastal Academy

University of Maine

Kennebec Valley Community College

Unity College

Industry Partners

Shift Energy

Interphase Energy

Waste Not Want Not LLC

Assured Solar

Revision Energy

Coastal Enterprise Institute

USDA Farm Service Agency

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry

Demonstration Sites

Olivia’s Garden

Little River Flower Farm

Tao Yuan Restuarant

Waldoboro Business Park

University of Maine Presque Isle

GET INVOLVED

MAINE SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE SOCIETY

MESAS is a farmer-led nonprofit that focuses on helping farms in Maine achieve a triple bottom line regardless of the scale they operate at or the production methods they chose to use. That triple bottom line includes PROFITABLE FARMS, HEALTHY ECOSYSTEMS, and STRONG COMMUNITIES.

Contact Us

Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society

Address:
60 Cassie Lane
Poland, ME  04274
Phone: 207-577-0209
E-mail: mehews@mesas.org