Read the Greenhouse, Covered and Year Round Agriculture Program Summary

View/follow our new Instagram account featuring Maine greenhouse systems :

 

Click or tap to view and/or download the report

KEY PROJECT OUTCOMES:

Sustainability analysis tools and framework for businesses: Economic/Environmental
SYRA Final Report (2020); new research and data from field demonstrations

click image to download PDF

 

……..Stay tuned for Monthly Fact Sheet Releases Starting September 2020

Four demonstration greenhouses developed for testing novel approaches to heating and production

Buxton, Maine. 144 x 45 ft, PV Integrated, Insulated Year Round, Soil-based production in raised beds. Features: hydronic radiant root zone heating, PCM heat storage, roof integrated solar-electric collectors.

Waldoboro, Maine. 55 x 50 ft, Solar Electric + Heater w/ Indoor Ridge/Purlin Duct Venting. Features: Insulated north wall, Powerwise Remote Monitoring System

Brunswick, Maine. Rooftop Hydroponic and aquaponic, multiuse downtown facility. Features: Storefront and test kitchen, basement aquaponics tanks and pumping system, tomato/hot house room.

New Gloucester, Maine. Sensor and supplemental lighting test site for vegetable production. Features: LED supplemental lamps for basil, lettuce, and chard, tomato, environmental sensor arrays system.

Greenhouse Producer Survey

We collaborated with the Mid Maine Greenhouse Growers Association to survey over 30 greenhouse producers around the state. Results of the survey are linked here.We plan to conduct a new round of surveys to increase participation from more producers in Winter 2021.

                                                                                                         (Screenshot of ME SAS Greenhouse Producer Survey showing varieties of greenhouse heating and insulation systems currently in use on commercial farms)

Three pilot programs developed for statewide applied research, curriculum and workforce training on Maine farms and Higher Ed

Featured Program:

 

 

ME SAS Twilight Farm Tours and Public Demonstrations (Images)

MESAS hosts occasional tours of commercial farms demonstrating year round production infrastructure. Images below feature system during construction and trial phases of the project.

 

 

 

This short video summarizes the project and its background as an applied research program on working Maine farms. (Produced by Galen Koch, 2017.)

 

Nancy and Bruce Stedman of Little River Flower Farm in Buxton, ME discuss their permeable radiant heated greenhouse floor and integrated solar roof. (2017)

 

ME SAS’ 2018 Twilight Farm Tours brought engineers, farmers, southern Maine food distributors, Cooperative Extension and college classrooms to four year round vegetable farms that participated in our research and demonstration program. (Photo courtesy: Melissa Winne 2018)

Prototype, low cost sensor arrays help track soil and climate conditions such as DLI, relative humidity, air temp, and soil temp a varying depths – tracking soil temps is critical for radiant heat. (Photo credit: Eliza Bennet)

Higher tech systems tend to help automate utilities such as ventilation, fertility but remain too expensive for most businesses. (Photo: Eliza Bennet)

Radiant root zone heat is good for certain cropping systems. When combined with additional layer of row cover (manual) or heat curtains (automated) heat can be directed to where it is most effective to plants.

A Trombe-styled south wall can be an effective passive solar heat trap and reduce carbon fuel source heating significantly. This image shows a hybrid passive heating/active PV electric solar collector.

Pellet fuel boilers were installed at a demonstration farm with mixed success.

2 Kedel 140,000 Btu boilers were great but servicing and maintenance on the units was not difficult for HVAC professionals, as parts are not accessible and currently too expensive to ship.

These protoype ridge vents cool a house in summer and provide a temperature boost from in winter using only small fans and ground heat.

Exhaust pipes for passive ground heat ducts.

ME SAS Developed a budget and accounting tool for planning and recordkeeping. The tool integrates carbon fuel accounting into your infrastructure performance tracking.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News and Events:

2018 Greenhouse Tour Series Announced

2018 Cool Weather Greenhouse Forums Cost saving greenhouse heating in focus for year round farm series: STATEWIDE – The Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society is hosting a 2018 Cool Weather Growing Series with forums and farm tour focused on greenhouse and year round...

PARTNERS

Maine Technology Institute

Funding Partner

GET INVOLVED

MAINE SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE SOCIETY

MESAS is a farmer-led nonprofit organization that that developes resources to help farms in Maine achieve a triple bottom line of PROFITABLITY, HEALTHY ECOSYSTEMS, and STRONG COMMUNITIES. We work for the benefit of farms across all scales of operation and production methods.

Contact Us

Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society

Phone: 207-570-8760

E-mail: infrastructure@mesas.org