Despite a very busy growing season, we were able to backfill the foundation and get most of the greenhouse up in the air! The next steps will be getting plastic on it in the early spring, building the endwalls, and starting to monitor temps and light. In the meantime, this winter I will be researching, writing grants, and taking an Arduino programming class (with 8th graders, I might add) so that I can automate most aspects of the system. Thanks to All who contributed time, labor, and funding to get the project started!
Starlight Pastures is now licensed by the Maine Department of Agriculture to sell our meat products in retail stores and Farmer’s Markets. Please look for our products in local stores, and know that your purchase supports the growth of healthy, responsible, and caring farming practices, and helps grow the local economy. As always, you are welcome to come visit our farm and check out our latest projects. (If you stay long enough, you might find a shovel or hammer in your hands.) Buying direct from our farm is always less expensive, and we are open to bargaining, barter and trade, which is something you won’t find at the grocery store. You can check out our products and prices under “Our Farm Stand” tab.
In early winter we began working on the foundation for our new aquaponic greenhouse. So far we have dug and poured the footer and lay one course of cement block, but the wonderful snow has halted our outside progress. For the winter we are working on system design. This greenhouse will be 30×60 ft with radiant floor tubing running in a massive heat sink of sand and gravel. The heat will be supplied mainly by a reflective satellite dish that tracks the sun, directs the rays into a single point, and heats water/glycol that is pumped through that point. For extended cloudy periods we will also burn recycled vegetable oil and wood, and during maple syrup season we will be running our evaporator inside!
Aquaponic systems work by growing plants and fish in connected water tanks- the fish produce amazing fertilizer (waste) for the plants, and the plants keep the water clean for the fish. Since the greenhouse is heated, we will be able to grow vegetables and fish year-round. Once up and running, we plan to be an educational site for anyone to learn about the many aspects of the system, mainly solar technology, organic food production methods, construction, biology and chemistry. We will sell vegetables, herbs, and fish year-round. Please contact us if you are interested in helping with this exciting project! You can read our fundraising letter here for more information about how to get involved.
We have 3 pigs going to the butcher next week! If you are interested in reserving a half or whole pig, or ordering any specific cuts, please contact us. Check out the pork products link under “Our Farm Stand” for details. We also still have poultry and maple syrup for sale. Happy New Year and turning of the season towards more daylight!
So far it has been a great season for maple syrup, and it looks like there is more good syruping weather on the way! We do batch processing on a wood-fired boiler, and we bottle syrup mainly in glass containers. (so that the syrup stays fresh longer and doesn’t end up with plastic residue in it) We sold all we made last season, so what we have now is fresh from our sugarbush! $60 will get you a gallon, and $32 for 1/2 gallon, and we can do smaller quantities too.