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Re: on-farm coolers

>Looking for some information on low-cost coolers for produce or cut flowers,
>specifically unconventional "homemade" units. I have several examples using
>old root cellars, parts salvaged from conventional coolers and used A/C units. 
>Anyone else experimented with this or know of someone who has? What kind of
>cost and labor was involved? Are the coolers efficient/productive?

Hi Lisa,
        This is Greg from Prairie Dock Farm/CSA(Community Supported
Agriculture).  We are in the process of building a strawbail cooler, which
is cooled by a used air conditioner.  The  conventional air conditioning
system needs to be upgraded with industrial controls and defroster.
        The strawbail part of the cooler is pretty cheap as we are using
recycled lumber, local strawbails and our own labor.  The air conditioner
part is being supplied by a CSA member who works in the heating/air
conditioning trade. The needed industrial upgrades cost about $300.00, for a
total cost of about $500.00. 
        Plans for the air conditioner part of the cooler were published in a
spring issue of 'Growing for Market', a wonderfully useful newsletter. It
can be ordered from Fairplain Publications, P.O. Box 3747, Lawrence, Kansas
66046; phone and fax: 913 -841-2559,  Reader service: 800-307-8949

                Hope this helps,