County AG Report: Greenhouse Cooling & Updates
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Spring has sprung here in the county, and the planting season is in full force. While we’re finally getting warm enough outside to start planting warmer weather crops outdoors, greenhouses have been able to have things in the ground for months now. In this week’s county ag report, Rob Koenig checks in with Taylor Putnam on the progress of his greenhouse, and the harvest from it so far this year.
“it’s been really good. The response has been great. Boxes have really picked up this year, our CSA farm boxes.”
Taylor Putnam of Treystar Farms has been busy the past couple of weeks getting things ready to go in the ground outdoors, but inside his greenhouse the harvest has already begun.
“we’ve actually been harvesting and selling stuff for two weeks now, anyway. Mostly it’s been loose leaf lettuce and spinach, and french breakfast radish.”
With the rising cost of most things in the grocery store, Putnam was determined to keep costs down. Since their farm uses very little gas-powered equipment, one of the biggest costs the farm faces is electricity. After the rate increase early in the year, Putnam wanted to find a way to keep his greenhouse cool without running circulation fans all the time.
“(shortened)last year you could kinda see things starting to rise up. So we tried to figure out a way, I wondered if we could do this without running ceiling fans and exhaust fans, and if we can run it with the breeze we have the way the greenhouse is angled. And if we can run it with the side curtains and the front door open, and see if we can keep it at that 80 degrees to 85 in here. So we had a lot of practice last year, we had some failures, but that’s good because when you fail you learn.
While the side curtains of the greenhouse look like they would be difficult to roll up, Putnam explained the process with his greenhouse is actually quite easy.
“actually, there’s some that have mechanized, you know on a switch, where there’s a motor that rolls them up. This is 48 feet long, so it’s just within the limits of rolling it up by hand. So, all you do is you go out there and start turning it, and there’s another poll that keeps it from rolling all the way out again. But it doesn’t take a lot of muscle, my daughter helps me.”
Putnam says he hopes to be able to continue to cool his greenhouse in this manner. As for the veggies, having the side curtains open has had little to no impact on them. Putnam mentioned he has been able to get produce from the greenhouse almost everyday this past week and will continue to do so for the rest of the growing season.
Copyright 2022 WAGM. All rights reserved.