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-   -   Cool Bot controller (http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=45235)

clkeiper June 7, 2017 11:55 AM

Cool Bot controller
 
does anybody have a cooler with a cool bot as the main source of refrigeration?

BigVanVader June 7, 2017 12:42 PM

I don't but when I build a WIC I plan to use it.

clkeiper June 25, 2017 05:26 PM

Up and working. so... I guess no one who does markets has a WIC? how do you pick and store produce until the market?

BigVanVader June 25, 2017 05:27 PM

Extra fridge.

Nematode June 25, 2017 07:05 PM

Buddy uses one to keep grapes cool on the way to the winery.
Had to make a trailer of his own because when he is harvesting so is everyone else and no trucks/trailers available.

Seems ok.

Cole_Robbie June 25, 2017 10:13 PM

My grandpa has an old wic that he bought used when I was a kid, mostly for peaches and melons, I think. Grandma used an extra fridge or two on the porch for okra, beans, and squash.

That's what is nice about only growing tomatoes, no fridge required.

clkeiper June 25, 2017 11:09 PM

[QUOTE=Cole_Robbie;649913]My grandpa has an old wic that he bought used when I was a kid, mostly for peaches and melons, I think. Grandma used an extra fridge or two on the porch for okra, beans, and squash.

That's what is nice about only growing tomatoes, no fridge required.[/QUOTE]

we have outgrown the fridge size storage.
we grow a bit of anything I think I can sell or know I can sell. fruit is terribly fragile and perishable... corn, grapes, peppers, apples, lettuce, cabbage, cukes, zukes, beans... lots and lots of beans, watermelons, cantaloupe, etc.... and I grow on about 2 acres (1 is corn) so I grow huge quantities that need chilled. AM markets don't leave much time for AM harvesting.

PureHarvest June 26, 2017 06:50 AM

The coolbot is good. Cheap and efficient way to cool a small box. Especially if you can locate the box in the shade.

BigVanVader June 26, 2017 08:50 AM

Realistically I need a WIC, but I will have to build one, and I hate building stuff. I keep checking CL but most are either junk or way to expensive. I'm planning to focus much more on salad mix next year for early cash flow so infrastructure is a must to streamline the washing/packing/storing. I'm going to practice with lettuce/salad mix this fall/winter and if things go well I'm going to buy the greens harvester (dam thing is so cool I want one badly) and a old washer for spinning. Baby steps. Not having weeds this year has been a game changer. I have free time & can manage my garden so much better that I need more to manage at this point.

clkeiper June 26, 2017 09:07 AM

we built the wic. I have a small barn next to the driveway that I use as a roadside stand. we partitioned off a section that we insulated with sprayon foam (we also have two commercial refrigerators). we have been doing this for 8 years now and finally are to the point of "its a necessity". just found an old two basin SS sink from someone who used to do a 26x96 of greens for a market all winter long... whoo whee! he said he did 800.00 of lettuce a week out of it... that is a lot of lettuce, but he is done now and selling off his equipment..I have an old honey extractor I am going to use to spin salad... if it works out, I have no idea, it is just an idea as it is sitting unused in the shed. thought I would try to line the cage with mesh and dump in the lettuce and spin it out. think it will work? I am not interested in another mechanical device. I am not that mechanically inclined nor do I have time to fix things that break.

BigVanVader June 26, 2017 10:00 AM

Idk, definitely be worth trying. If your gonna do salad mix I think the easiest way is an old washer. Put lettuce in laundry bags and set to spin cycle.

FarmerShawn June 28, 2017 02:05 AM

I built a Coolbot cooler in a shed last year, and my life changed dramatically! I used a fridge before, but the cooler is so much easier and more spacious. I did find it necessary to keep most of my stuff in closed plastic containers, because the cool air is very dry, and can wilt things quickly.

Salsacharley June 28, 2017 06:20 AM

It seems that the cost of running refrigeration would really challenge the break even point of selling unless you have really big volume sales.

clkeiper June 28, 2017 07:51 AM

I do a roadside stand and 3 farmers markets a week. I have done so for 8 years now. everything we do we save up and pay for as we see the need. This is my main source of a job here. I need to be close to home with a fairly flexible schedule and this allows it to happen. the coolbot allows for me to not have to be picking and packing everything the morning of or the night before each market. the cool bot runs off of an air conditioning unit in a well insulated room. pretty efficient.

"I did find it necessary to keep most of my stuff in closed plastic containers, because the cool air is very dry, and can wilt things quickly."... yep, I do cover or package before putting the produce in the cooler.

Worth1 June 28, 2017 07:52 AM

[QUOTE=Salsacharley;650506]It seems that the cost of running refrigeration would really challenge the break even point of selling unless you have really big volume sales.[/QUOTE]


Depends on how well insulated the container is and how often you go in and out of it.
I just drilled into a commercial freezer and refrigerator for temperature probes.
The insulation was over 4 inches thick.

Not for sure how the coolbot works but it looks like they are just changing the temperature span of an air conditioner thermostat control.????
This can be easily done for way less money if that is the case.
Worth


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