Tuesday, January 30, 2007

'Renaissance of agriculture' begins

Comment: On first blush, this appears to be a good step toward sustainability. I just hope they have done all they can to reduce their energy demand. Perhaps they can install a large PV array down the road and/or look into a Geo Thermal system.

Maine Today
Jerry Harkavy
January 30, 2007

MADISON - The temperature Monday hovered around 10 degrees, and snow covered the ground. But inside one of the nation's largest greenhouses, workers wore T-shirts as Gov. John Baldacci sampled the first vine-ripened tomatoes grown at Backyard Farms.

"These are beautiful," said Baldacci of the bright-red tomatoes grown in 70- to 75-degree warmth. Taking a bite, the former restaurateur pronounced the fruit "sweet and delicious."

Backyard Farms is betting that its $25 million venture will find a receptive market among shoppers craving summer-quality tomatoes in a region that has long relied on produce shipped from 1,000 miles away.

The glass-covered greenhouse on a former dairy farm covers 25 acres and stretches nearly as far as the eye can see. At more than 1 million square feet, it's roughly the size of six Wal-Mart Supercenters or more than 20 football fields.

With a capacity of 240,000 plants growing up to 10 feet tall, the greenhouse is projected to yield 1 million tomatoes a week. That adds up to 7.7 tons a year.

Backyard Farms, based in Lexington, Mass., envisions three or four additional greenhouses that would turn out other hydroponic produce, including cucumbers, peppers, eggplant and herbs. If this comes to pass, the current work force of 65 could expand to as many as 250 workers.

"We want to make Madison, Maine, the produce capital of New England," said Paul Sellew, president and CEO of Backyard Farms.
On Monday, however, the focus was strictly on tomatoes, dubbed "Backyard Beauties." The first shipment was dispatched Monday to Hannaford supermarkets, which has been looking forward to the Backyard Beauties to supplement winter tomatoes it gets from Holland, Israel, Mexico and Canada. The Maine tomatoes will be priced competitively, said Caren Epstein, a spokeswoman for the chain.

Sellew, whose family runs a large wholesale nursery in Connecticut, teamed up with Dutch-born Arie Vandergiessen, a leading greenhouse grower, and Wayne Davis, a former executive with Fidelity Investments, to develop the project.

While it may seem odd to build a greenhouse in a place that gets snow and subzero temperatures, Sellew said northern regions such as Quebec and Scandinavia are where many greenhouses are found.
"It's much easier to heat a greenhouse than it is to cool a greenhouse," Sellew said.

Madison was chosen because its electric rates are among the lowest in the region. Madison Electric Works, municipally owned, prices its power below that of other utilities.

The greenhouse is a major user of electricity to power its 11,000 specialized 1,000-watt lights. They are controlled by computer to emit enough light to mimic what the sun would provide under ideal conditions for photosynthesis.

The greenhouse uses state-of-the-art technology and environmentally friendly processes that use biological controls and beneficial insects in place of chemical pesticides.

Inside the greenhouse there are plenty of bees buzzing around to pollinate the tomatoes. The greenhouse uses rainwater, not groundwater, to grow the produce.

Madison's other attraction was the availability of 330 acres of flat, open terrain, some of it owned by retired dairy farmer Erik Walter, who appears dressed in overalls and a cap in promotional materials and on the side of the company's truck.

Both Walter and Sellew are happy that the greenhouse assures that the land won't be lost to farming.

"This represents a renaissance of New England agriculture," Sellew said.


Anonymous said...

child nude images. ugg boots on sale Lace and sheer fabric should be in all closets. ugg slippers Come shop with some quality crafters and designers and see some new cutting edge art from Tokyo artists!. http://www.morenorthface.com The total students studying in this university are 9,315.. uggs I represent StartupLokal, talking about techpreneur in front of high school students.

Anonymous said...

His first endeavor in the world of design took place at the age of 16, when he started making tote bags for friends. north face canada I did do a little stashing at Pat Fly Angora Valley booth I picked up an 800 (!) yard hank of 3-ply wool in a mix of berry tones, and a 650-yard skein of Fly Super Sport Monarch (formerly Happy Trails 3-ply a dead ringer for the midweight STR at a much more generous yardage and better price, and superwash to boot) in shades of teal. ugg But it can also be treated as an excuse to explore.. north face uk And that it was. ghd They take care of money, we take care of customers, and together we're delivering a new type of financial experience that's easier, faster, and friendlier..

Anonymous said...

But the thing with my body is that I big-boned; I have broad shoulders, I really tall, have big hips it just not my body. north face outlet This winter, many fashionistas are indeed combining casual top and Choker bracelet 90 However, some of them are already past the next step by adopting mixing folklore tribal jewelry and more conventional jewelery.. http://www.fitghdhair.com Many people engaged in physical activities wear headbands to prevent sweat from burning their eyes. ugg boots Let us just say - we don't think the UN building has seen anyone quite as fabulous as these Project Runway All Stars contestants walk through its gates. north face canada My outfit was unique and I could almost guarantee that nobody else was going to rock the same look..

Anonymous said...

Transparent tops and blouses have been in fashion the past season as well, but this autumn transparency widens even to trousers and dresses. http://www.verynorthface.com My main, Dina, has T1 TSO + Kunark raid armor (and her mythical), but my cleric? Her armor is just RoK group armor and no fabled, much less a mythical weapon. http://www.downuggboots.com He's in New York showing his modern designs as part of the lineup at NOLCHA Fashion Week, a showcase of young up and coming designers.. north face canada Since 1978, everypair of ugg boots clearance has begun with the finest, softest, most luxurious Grade-A Twinface sheepskin in the world. ghd dark HBO currently has about 29 million subscribers, and reportedly receives around $7 or $8 per subscriber per month.

Anonymous said...

I was really happy with the outcome and decided to put a lookbook together and send it out to a few stores. north face outlet But whether their recent comeback will eventually translate into a core piece of Tumblr business model remains to be seen. ghd hair Men today have also embraced the fact that they also have to look fashionable trendy. http://www.morenorthface.com Guccifake designer handbags on sale are at the absolute highest standards in both their materials and workmanship. uggs Now for you 21st Century gents out there, you definitely want to hear this interview..

Anonymous said...

Too many stores would dilute the brand in a way, and they choose to keep it elite in a way. http://www.softuggboots.com I have hiked and climbed there many times.. north face backpacks exactly because i am quite good at photo, drawing, painting/illustration, graphic design BUT not really great at just one thing because i have been so worried that i would be more successful if i have taken the other way so thats why i try to grow up in different fields at the same time. north face sale The simplest resolution to this problem is always to get your handbags online favorites!. ugg boots These events helped raise awareness for Dress for Success, an international not-for-profit organization offering services designed to help underprivileged women find jobs and remain employed.

Anonymous said...

I have recently had an awakening and it has lead to an entirely new wardrobe, hair up-dos and makeup. ghd It isn that I not inspired by what is around me anymore, but probably more a product of my jaded view on what has been done before. http://www.morenorthface.com It is known that Chanel handbags are a very popular brand and is known for its high quality and beautiful designs that have led many companies to try to copy their style and design just for getting to the real thing. http://www.fitghdhair.com And if it is the designer labels that you are eyes and still find them to be elusive after the slashed rates, then you can also go for the replica of the designer brands. ghd hair I threw off the guy holding me and gave the signal to bail, slamming into a cop in the process.

Anonymous said...

The presentation then launches into the roster of industries and segments that the Internet and mobile devices are currently in the process of re-imagining. ugg boots Also known as junk jewelry or fashion jewelry, it was initially used along with a particular kind of costume or as an accompaniment to a type of clothing. ugg boots on sale Od ukupnog hidropotencijala Srbije, uključujući i velike hidroelektrane (procenjenog na 17 milijardi kilovat časova godišnje), EPS je iskoristio 60 odsto. http://www.wellnorthface.com the better range, prices and high availability that online retail shops offer, it is no wonder that many Chanel aficionados have a preference of purchasing their Chanel accessories online, instead of limiting their choices to that of the official boutiques and other brick and mortar retail outlets. http://www.softuggboots.com Click over to Leon blog to see and hear more about her experience.