Oct 022011

CoolBot air conditioner controllerThe CoolBot “turns any brand of off-the-shelf, window-type air conditioning unit (purchased separately) into a turbo-charged cooling machine. With it, you can transform a highly-insulated room into a walk-in cooler, keeping your vegetables fresh and thermostatically controlled cool down to 32° F!” And it’s only $300. Combined with a $300-500 air conditioner, CoolBot promises to deliver the performance of a commercial cooler compressor that would cost at least $3,000. It also saves around 60% on electricity bills. Installation is incredibly easy: tape a CoolBot sensor to the A/C unit’s temperature sensor.

For building a low-cost walk-in cooler, here are two articles that take entirely different approaches. Both are well worth the read:

Jan 122008

Bag holders

Simple and effective, these folding bag holders are great, except in anything more than a light breeze. Here, I was using them to fill large leaf bags with grass mulch. This has been my only use for them so far, and they’re worth it just for that. But they’d come in handy for any sort of collection, including leafy greens harvest. They’re also reversible: stand them on one end or the other for large or regular size bags. These were under $15 at the local hardware store.

Nov 072007

Harvest cart in action

A great little fabrication project, this simple cart is a serious time- and back-saver for harvesting low-growing greens like mesclun and spinach. Check out the details and the construction plans. To try it with the materials at hand, we built something similar, with wider wheels and a board for a seat, but the same three-wheel design. It’s used for cutting 50’x1.5′ beds of mesclun and spinach, and it’s FANTASTIC, particularly great for saving your back. A new one built closer to spec is planned!

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