This tipsheet came from a workshop that CISA did in partnership with the MA Farm Energy program and includes factors to consider before replacing reach in freezers or coolers with a walk in freezer or cooler.
Winter Crop Storage
In 2010, CISA checked in with some experts — farmers and engineers — to develop resources for farmers interested in on-farm winter storage options, available for free download here. Each resource offers a case study for a specific facility design, and both outline the following considerations for a winter storage facility:
- Crop Considerations
- Storage Facility Layout
- Cooling System and Humidity Considerations
- Free Cooling
- Cold Storage Financials
Walk-in Cooler & Squash Storage: Existing structure retrofit:
Intervale Community Farm in Burlington, VT stores over 20,000 pounds of crops each winter for their 175-member winter CSA. In 2006, they retrofitted an existing pole barn structure with a cooler for root vegetables and a heated space for squash storage. Andy Jones, manager of the farm, lays out the decision-making process they went through, details about the set-up and use of the storage systems they chose.
Walk-in Cooler: New construction, stand-alone cold storage facility with free air option: GDS Associates, an engineering and consulting firm that has worked on storage facilities with local farms, produced this case study focusing on design and financial considerations for a stand-alone facility that can be equipped to use outside air to cool the space during the winter months.