caption: The solar integrated roof at the Waldoboro facility

Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and Midcoast Farmers Alliance are again offering a series of workshops for farmers and gardeners. The first program of 2018 is an open house and tour hosted by the Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society (MESAS) of a demonstration of agricultural energy and heating efficiency technology being developed through their Sustainable Year-Round Agriculture (SYRA) project at Waldoboro Business Park, 1 Pie Rd in Waldoboro at 4PM on Thursday, March 1. This event is free and open to the public.

The Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society (MESAS) has been working with engineers, architects and energy specialists to develop new infrastructure solutions for year-round farmers that save money on production costs. The Waldoboro facility incorporates solar technologies for electricity and heating, along with phase change materials and energy monitoring tools. The building demonstrates systems that reduce the heating and energy cost necessary to operate greenhouses, food storage facilities, dairies or any large year-round facility designed for production or storage.

Waldoboro Business Park recently contracted with Portland greenhouse design and engineering firm ArchSolar and local renewable energy firms to design and build an agricultural building in which it would be easy, environmentally friendly, and affordable to control the climate twelve months of the year. The result is a prototype quonset-style structure with integrated photovoltaic electricity and a large-scale solar heating wall that helps heat and cool the facility to a consistent temperature. The building is also insulated with “phase-change material” – a type of insulation that works much like an ice pack in your cooler, but in reverse – that captures heat in a wall or ceiling generated and releases it slowly over time.

Join us for a tour of the facility on March 1 to see these systems at work! To register for this and upcoming workshops, please visit www.knox-lincoln.org/beginning-farmer, call 596-2040, or email info@knox-lincoln.org with your name, affiliation, and number of attendees. For more info about MESAS and their efforts to build a innovative business cluster that supports the needs of Maine farmers please visit www.mesas.org/syra.

The Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society is a 501 (c)(3) organization working to help farmers capture more of the consumer dollar through lowering the cost of inputs, adding value to their products, and scaling their operations in a sustainable way. We serve Maine farms across scales and production styles to achieve a triple bottom line of profitable farms, healthy ecosystems and strong communities.