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Chris Powell's business is blossoming at Good Harvest Farm on April 19, 2011, in Strasburg, PA. The nursery completed a Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant that supported his renovation six months ago. It replaced an 80-year old structure with a new 4,000 sq. ft. facility featuring a energy efficient glass roof with curtains that blocks or traps heat, radiant heaters in or above the floor, and the replacement of an oil-fired hot-air furnaces with propane fueled boilers that supply fin-tube and cement embedded tube elements with hot water. With current fuel prices, there is a projected 2011 energy cost savings of more than $20,000; a 40% reduction in energy costs – which exceeds projected savings. Plant health and quality improved and has been more consistent due to the evenly computer controlled the temperature and humidity throughout the facility. Sensors mounted in the roof weather station, can maintain four different climate zones 24-hours a day. Two 1,000,000 BTU propane boilers heat water to 190 degrees for the 8,000 feet of fin-tube heating elements in the original foundation, and the 8,000 feet of new tubing embedded in the cement foundation. After circulating through the energy efficient system, water only looses 20 degrees. When temperatures become to hot, motorized roof vents open to allow rising heat to escape; a 98% energy savings from massive fans that previously forced air out. Both systems create a microclimate in and round the plant trays in the growing and sales room. Representing Good Harvest Farm Chris Powell says, “You don’t need to have a lot of land to have a lot of green houses. There are places in cities where vegetables are grow on store roof tops and selling them below in the same structure.” USDA Multimedia by Lance Cheung.


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Taken on October 31, 2012