Little River Flower Farm will be open for tours of their year round production facility starting at 4PM Thursday November 8th, at 160 Turkey Lane in Buxton. Tours will showcase their system of organic soil based vegetable and flower production in insulated and heated raised beds. The greenhouse is heated by a pellet fuel to furnaces made by Kedel which are distributed in Maine by True North Energy Services.
Their facility was built in 2016, and includes a photovoltaic array in the roof which powers energy systems through their greenhouse and farm. The raised beds also use phase-change material – that functions like an ice pack but in storing and releasing heat rather than cold – that helps reduce heating costs. The greenhouse was designed by portland-based agriculture architecture and engineering firm ArchSolar with support for the solar array by Assured Solar in Falmouth.
To support the pilot study of feasibility of these kinds of integrated systems for maine greenhouse growers, the facility is also equipped with environmental sensors designed by Biddeford sensor developer Waste Not Want Not LLC. The data collected from heating, energy and production at the facility is currently being analyzed by faculty and students University of Maine in Presque Isle. Models for intensive agricultural production in Maine’s winter are appealing to innovative growers who see renewable energy and heating systems as a new development in marketing Maine products for a longer season. In Little River Flower Farm’s case this includes through the coldest months of winter.
Next week tours will run at O’Donals Nurseries in Scarborough and Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast where the community will discuss opportunities for STEM curriculum at school farms and greenhouses around the state.
For more info on the tours or technology contact firstname.lastname@example.org