The Renovation Started in Our Greenhouse

green houseOver the years, our facility has been receiving more members and guests who come during various annual events. Several of the visitors are CEOs and managers running established businesses and organizations, and some use our offices to perform virtual official duties. Those that come to participate in agricultural research projects in our facility also use the offices when compiling and writing reports. In short, our offices are ever busy throughout the year and we are glad for that. We send our gratitude to all members for their sincere support.

A self-sufficient facility should not only be financially stable but also environmentally and user-friendly. User-friendly in this context refers to the ability to accommodate as many members as possible, as well as ensuring their safety, wellness, and comfort. As part of our long-term goals, we have been analyzing customer reviews and suggestions so that we can make informed decisions regarding any upgrade needs. One of our major decisions was to start renovating a few areas in the facility, courtesy of our members’ opinions. Greenhouse refurbishment was the first project because Agri-Biotech researchers wanted appropriate greenhouse structures to carry out experiments and tests.

A few of the major things we did during the greenhouse renovations project include the following;

Overhauling greenhouse base

Originally, the greenhouses had metal bases, but they have been replaced with block ones to increase rigidity. This was done after we realized that the metal base was getting loose gradually, which also weakened the entire structures over time. We noticed some of the greenhouses were flexing and the joints were already swinging, indicating that some of the glazing panes were already broken. Ensuring the base is sound and solid has enhanced effective growing of plants without unwelcoming disturbances of draughts, as well as the entry of pests.

Refurbishing greenhouse frames

We have greenhouses with aluminum frames and others with wooden frames. Since these frames are constructed by joining diagonal and vertical bars, the diagonal members usually loosen with time. All aluminum frames’ diagonals are now fitted with special bolts such that the heads fit into a channel and the bolt cannot turn. The other bar is secured with a nut onto the bolt and then tightened. On the other hand, the greenhouses with wooden frames have been painted to prevent rotting during rain seasons. The frame joints have also been nailed to reinforce the whole structure in order to resist summer draughts.

Ventilation

The greenhouses that had poor ventilation have been fitted with new louvers and windows so that the plants can get sufficient fresh air, as well as allow moisture to escape after every space heating. For the previously ventilated greenhouses, we have replaced weak hinges with stronger ones in all windows and louvers. Those windows with unmoving hinges have been oiled appropriately so that they don’t seize up during winter when they are less used. We have also installed automatic ventilator openers, which are checked for functionality and form throughout. In case one stops working completely, it is replaced immediately because we have them in our store.

Greenhouse doors

green houseSome of the greenhouses that had poorly secured doors have been fixed properly. The door hinges are now well oiled and can move freely without catching the ground when opening and closing. Since we replaced a few of the hinges with new ones, our technicians are always on the watch to ensure the hinges are oiled regularly. Additionally, we have installed sliding doors in several greenhouses. Their rollers are always kept in good condition, and the doors can be closed and opened fully without catching the ground.

After the greenhouse renovation project, the second refurbishment was done in our offices. This is after we discovered that new assets including office chairs are required to offer a more comfortable working environment. Therefore, we purchased new ergonomic office chairs and computer desks. Working for more than four hours while sitting is one of the major causes of backaches and neck related pains. Since one of our goals is to ensure the members stay comfortable, healthy, and safe, we have achieved that objective through buying the new ergonomic office chairs.

In conclusion, we understand maintaining greenhouses is the best approach to get full benefits of them. That’s why we have several technicians to check and rectify any faulty parts of the structures. This will not only save our money in the long run but also ensure all activities are running smoothly as required.

How Can You Save Energy by Using New Technologies?

The type of boiler system, property insulation, and type of smart thermostat are the basic factors that determine if you will save some dollars on your heating bills. These factors are accompanied by other essentials, which also reflect the chances of any individual to save money by using new heating controls. Those who can comfortably use their smartphones and computers, probably they will learn how to use the apps well. Smart thermostats come with LED display where you can see how much heating is being used and therefore monitor the amount of energy being poured.

How Does Programmable Thermostats Help Us?

People with tight daily schedules can program their smart thermostats just from the start, so that heating is consistently controlled even when you are away. However, other models like Nest can learn owner’s routine and begin heating the house when required. In addition, such devices usually learn how the owner regulates the heating, thus controlling the amount of warmth required based on specific times.

As much as you need to heat your house, you must also consider saving energy and money. Heating cannot be run throughout since you may find energy bills are still the same says thermostatistics.com regardless of having a smart thermostat in your house. You need to ask yourself these two simple questions;

  • How much heating do you require?
  • Which season/climate/weather needs more heating than the other?

energy saving with wifi thermostats

If you usually heat your house to 78 degrees during cold weathers and then leave the set temperature to run for the entire cold season, then you are not saving energy consumption. That is why it is advisable to turn down the heating temperature while you are away from home or when in bed at night.

However, smart thermostats can perform the duty of turning down the heating temperature. Remember these are automated devices like wine coolers, which are designed to learn your daily habits while others are designed to monitor your motion within the house. So, the device will just switch on/off the heating based on what and when you need it. If you have been paying higher energy bills despite having a smart thermostat, perhaps you have been running heating temperature continuously. Therefore, let the smart heating control manage your air conditioning, and you may see remarkable changes as far as money saving on energy bills is concerned.

Smart thermostats are not too different from the regular ones since the major alteration is the ability to control heating remotely. Most of them are less sophisticated, meaning that they offer reliable user experience. When it comes to installation, possibly anyone can do it. However, you can use an expert to do it on your behalf. Installation cost is often high, but you can recover through saving over a period of 1 or 2 years. However, people are likely to save on energy bills and recoup the installation cost if they don’t vacate the property a few months after installing their heating system.

There are several of smart thermostats’ manufacturers, including Ecobee, Nest, and Honeywell among others. These companies provide estimates on how much you can save with smart thermostat, but the figures are not as accurate as some of us might think. But since they are based on studies, you can get some approximations on how much money you can save over a specified period of time.

According to Ecobee, their smart thermostats saved users an average of 23 percent in air conditioning costs in 2013. On the other hand, Nest said that their customers who bought their smart thermostats saved up to 12% on heating and about 15% on cooling. Based on the company’s study, users realized annual savings of up to $145 on average. Nevertheless, these studies show average figures on calculation for several users. Generally, you can save and recover your initial investment after at least a year.

Let’s Keep Our Environment Clean with Disposals

Among many household appliances, garbage disposal is one of the most useful domestic devices. As much as it simplifies household duties, there is need to operate and maintain it appropriately. If handled carelessly it can break down, thus blocking and clogging the drainage system.

It is very expensive to repair clogged drainage and the garbage disposal itself. However, some damages can be avoided by maintaining your appliance properly. If the machine is treated with care, definitely it will serve you well and for a longer time. Garbage disposal is likely to be damaged by the type food stuffs put into it.

Therefore, the following are some of the things that you should never put in your garbage disposal;

  1. Fibrous Veggies

Although you might have putting vegetable stuffs into your garbage disposal and nothing has happened yet, you might be preparing for a real nightmare. Fibrous vegetables such as celery, rhubarb, chard, lettuce, artichokes, and kale can cause a serious havoc on your device. Therefore, it is advisable to throw such stuffs instead of putting them in your garbage disposal.

  1. Potatoes and potato peels

As per Disposal Mag, unwanted potatoes and potato peels can be disposed by use of a garbage disposer. However, it many depend on the size of the stuffs. If they are too large, put a little at a time to avoid too much mashed stuff in the machine. If the potatoes are broken down into a thick starch paste, it can stick and create havoc in the system.garbage-disposals

  1. Corn Husks

Corn husks are just like fibrous vegetables, and can wrap around the machine’s system causing a major inconvenience. If you have some husks in the house, consider throwing them in the landfill or onto a dumping site.

  1. Cooking fat and oil

Cooking fat and oil may seem very safe when put in the garbage disposal, but they are as dangerous as potatoes. They can cause serious clogging, forcing you to call for plumbing services. The best way to dispose fat and oils is putting them into the trash bin, waiting for transportation to the dumping site.

  1. Bones

When bones are put into the garbage disposal, there is likelihood they will not be broken down. If they are chopped, however, they will not pass down the drain pipes. The end result is calling a plumber after a serious clogging and blocking has already occurred.Disposals

  1. Coffee grounds and beans

These will clog the trap, and also can pile up and form some kind of sediment in the drain pipes. Though they usually produce a good smell, they can lead to costly plumbing and repair services. It is better to put them into the trash bin, where they can even improve the smell of the trash can.

  1. Egg shells

Apart from egg shells, oyster, lobster, or crab shells can cause a disaster within the garbage disposal. They are just like bones, and the blades may fail to chop them appropriately. However, some people say egg shells are safe for garbage disposal. Others claim that shells have membrane lining that can stick to the sides and wrap around the shredder. So, just avoid putting egg shells into your garbage disposal.

  1. Pasta

The good example is spaghetti, which usually expands whenever dipped into water. Even when they are cooked, they will still expand when exposed to water. Therefore, it is not advisable to dump pasta stuffs into drain systems because they can clog and block the system. If you have a garbage disposal, ensure spaghetti remains are put into trashcans or bins.

There are many other things that can damage your garbage disposal, but the above eight are the common ones. Nevertheless, if you suspect something might clog your appliance, just put it into the trash bin or can.

Read our other kitchen related posts about sealing and rice cooking.

Watering Your Grape Fields

Nowadays, environmentalists in Ontario have been encouraging urban agriculture as a source of food production. This practice can reduce food scarcity, as well as improved utilization of undeveloped lands within the outskirts of towns and cities. Irrigation is the better option for urban agriculture, and mostly relying on rivers and wastewater released from commercial and residential areas.

However, rivers flowing near cities have been polluted heavily by wastewater channelled to these sources. The water contains different kinds of oxides, nitrates, and heavy metals including the highly toxic lead metal. According to various studies, when contaminated water is used for irrigation, the metals such as lead can be absorbed by plants and incorporated into the food chain.

Grapes are some of the fast moving agricultural products in urban areas, and they grow faster compared to other fruits. If these fruits are watered with contaminated water, the heavy metals can be absorbed and cause serious health problems to consumers. using a water softener for home use can be beneficial to get rid of the contamination.

How to Grow Toxic Free Grapes

Even though fruits absorb fewer amounts of toxins compared to leafy vegetables, constant accumulation of lead can result to adverse health effects. Today, municipal wastewater is recycled and used for commercial purposes while water treatment plants also provide clean water for both domestic and industrial use. Therefore, the technology behind the production of safe water for home consumption can be applied in irrigation water system too. Reverse osmosis is commonly used, and it helps to filter out contaminants, including heavy metals and nitrates.

If this RO technology can be integrated into an irrigation system, grape growers can greatly benefit from the same. Several countries have been restricting importation of some vegetables and fruits that contain higher levels of toxic substances. This has resulted in the collapse of several businesses that trade fruits such as grapes due to reduced global market. To restore the businesses and production of grapes and other fruits, reverse osmosis can be an ideal technology to purify water for irrigation purposes.

watering grape fields

Reverse Osmosis (RO) Technology

RO is a process of purifying water by use of a semi-permeable membrane. Contaminated water is forced through the membrane so that the larger molecules can be filtered out. Lead, arsenic, and nitrates are usually made of larger molecules than water, and they are filtered out during the purification process. Some minerals that are made up of smaller molecules are retained in the water, hence providing natural nutrients required by the plants.

Benefits of Using Reverse Osmosis to Grape Farmers

  1. Increased yields

Reverse osmosis water is pure and free from heavy metals and other unwanted pollutants. This gives farmers unquestionable permission to grow grapes in large scale since the fruits already meet the international food standards.

  1. Eco-friendly

Purifying water through reverse osmosis is eco-friendly because little amount of energy is required. The space required to establish the system is minimal as well, allowing conservation and cost saving.

  1. Reduced health risks

Growing crops in the contaminated environment is a high risk to the health of consumers. Since reverse osmosis removes all the contaminants from water, irrigated grapes will be safe to eat.

  1. Environmental protection

Reverse osmosis is one of the ways of protecting the environment because pollutants are removed from the contaminated water. When the purified water is used in irrigation, soil and water pollution is incredibly reduced.

  1. Green production

Reverse osmosis utilizes very little energy, without emissions during the process. Therefore, farmers are rested assured of conserving the environment, as well as producing safe fruits.

According to Ro-System.org researchers, there is a need to assess levels of heavy metals in fruits. Therefore, food control authorities should encourage the use of RO water for irrigation in order to decrease the level of contaminants entering the food chain.

Sealing & Dehydrating and Beyond

vacuum sealer 1Vacuum sealers are also known as dry canning and a very great help in keeping your shelf life of bulk dry goods like your dried fruits, spices and herbs or even your flour and sugar.  For your non-powdery dry foods like rice, fruits and peppercorn you can place them in a mason jar and just use some jar sealer. This method of sealing is very helpful, especially when you have a bumper crop of something and you need to store some extra crops for a longer period of time.

For your powdery item like your flour and sugar, you can just leave them inside a paper storage bags and vacuum seal the bag. If you will be planning to seal powdery materials in your mason jar, always make sure that you will form a hole at the center to increase the airflow, then you can place a coffee filter in the content of your jar to help reduce the amount of dust to be sucked into the sealer. You can also use this kind of sealing method in your fresh frozen foods like your broccoli, blueberries, peas, green beans, strawberries and many more.

This can also be used in preparing your pre-meal pack, in this way of packing your meal your food are not clumped in a big frozen block and you can eat as much as you want. You can also reuse the bag if you only open it nice and neatly. You can also seal leftover foods in a meal size for your quick fix meal on a busy night. Here is a comparison of vacuum sealers you can buy.

Unique Uses for a Vacuum Sealer

vacuum sealer 2Vacuum sealer can also be used in resealing oil, wine, vinegar and more. When you have already broken the seal on your liquids, the shelf life of it will drop dramatically, especially your wine. There is also some sealer that is capable to be replaced in your wine stopper.

There is also lots of sealer that is compatible to seal all your liquid bottles like your oil and vinegar. This kind of sealing method will not only help in preventing some spill of your foods or liquids, but will also help to protect some of your things like ammunition and other things from corrosion. When your ammo will be expose in air and moisture it will result to tarnish and will corrode metal over the time. You can use sealer to protect the shine of your silver cutlery and you can also save yourself a lot of time polishing. Always make sure that before sealing your cutlery you will wrap it first with a thick paper or a cloth, so that your fork and sharp knife will not damage the sealed bag.

Vacuum sealer can also be used to reseal some of your favorite cracker and chips. Although clothespins and chip clip help to prevent your food from spilling all over your pantry, but this clip doesn’t work very well to keep the content very fresh, especially under wet conditions. To keep the crunchy feeling of your crackers and chips, simply use the sealing function of your sealer because if you vacuum your cracker or chips t will crush your food.

First Dehydrate and then Vacuum Seal!

food dehydratorHere is a ultimate guide by dehydratorium.com editors, we suggest you to to read.

Vacuum sealer can also used in some emergency preparedness, especially if your house is not very close to any shopping or retail stores. This can be used in stacking some of your first aid kit and some medicine, especially if you always stock band aids for your little ones.

This can be used in stacking some of your first aid kit and some medicine, especially if you always stock band aids for your little ones.

We all know that band aids have adhesive on the back portion, but when not properly place the adhesive on the back will get damaged and the band aid con not be used anymore.

If your band aids will be put on your sealer this prevents the band aid to get damage and also the adhesive on the back of it. When the time comes that you need to use e item inside your sealed bad, just snip it open and it’s ready to go.

Click to read further on Food Dehydration Principles.

All About Bread Machines – Cheese Wine Bread Recipes

bread machines 1Having a freshly made bread at your table for is the very best thing to have, especially every morning. But did you even think how does a bread made? Well, for everyone who are very curious about how to make a bread this article might help you with that. Bread making can be very tricky, it takes a lot of effort and time to make a bread. With a help of a bread making machine everything is possible when making a bread. Most of you now are having their own bread making machine at the comfort of your houses. Many of you now are turning your little kitchen into a little bakery and enjoying the taste of every bread you make with your machine.

 

What is a Bread Machine?

Bread Machine is a home appliance that can be used to make or baking a bread. It includes a bread pan or a tin at the bottom, it also has a built in paddles that was mounted at the center of a very special oven. The build in oven is controlled by a built in computer that uses settings to input via its control panel. Every bread machine has a different cycles depending on the kind of dough like white bread, European style bread, whole grain and sometimes even pizza dough. Other bread machine offers an automatic timer to allow the machine to activate without any human interaction. Some also have a user program that will allow to program a custom cycle of the dough. Most of the bread making machine process is automatic and most machine also comes with a recipe book for your daily bread making experience and for making more types of dough. You can read further on the very best bread machine reviews on the market today at makingmybread .

 

To make a bread, each ingredient was measured equally into the bread pan in an orderly manner, most of the machine usually puts liquid first with all the solid ingredients on top. After measuring all the ingredients in the bread pan, then be put in the bread maker. The order of of putting all the ingredients is very important because the instant yeast will be activated once it contacts with the water. So it is very important that the yeast and the water should keep apart until the program will start.

How Does Bread Making Machine Works?

bread machines 2The machine takes few hours to bake the bread. The first step is by turning all your ingredients into a dough by the use of the paddle. Most machines have a removable paddle. Next would be the start of baking your bread with ideal oven temperature. When the bread is done the pan can be extracted from the machine. Always take extra care in opening the lid, remove the hot tin out of the oven, then tip out the bread and let it cool. Some of the bread making machine doesn’t have the same bread shape, however, all the recent models generally have a more traditional horizontal pan. While some machine has a standard rectangular shape. Most machines are very easy to clean after every bake with its nonstick features. It only takes less than a minute to clean the tin and the paddles.

The best tips for bread machine bread is here.

The great thing about having an automatic bread maker is that it does all the process for you. But some other machine has other features like a built in memory so that the machine can survive even during power outages or blackouts. The machine will remember what they were doing and continue to its job when the power turns back. There are also bread making machine that is capable of delaying the start of the program so that you can put all the ingredients at night and wake up with a fresh new baked bread in the morning. You are maybe wondering how much a bread maker machine will cost you if you are about to make a loaf, well this is depending on what ingredients you are using. Compare to your everyday expenses in buying your favorite bread on the bakeries  this machine will surely helps you to save more than buying a bread everyday.

you may also like to read on special rice cooker recipes.

Green Products – Water Saving Faucets

Only 1 percent of the world’s total water is potable so it is very important to conserve water as much as possible. One way of diminishing water usage is through the use of water-efficient products such as water-saving faucets and other accessories. Nowadays, more and more people are creating new products that not only conserve water but also promote the welfare of the environment.

Water Saving FaucetsWater-Saving-Faucets

The use of water-saving faucets in kitchens and bathrooms are becoming a trend nowadays and this is creating a positive impact on our environment. Did you know that we can save as much as 3,000 gallons of water per year if we turn our faucets off while brushing our teeth? Sounds quite a lot of water for such a short amount of time the faucet is turned off. Installing water-efficient faucets could help reduce water consumption in our homes ultimately reducing water bills. There are various fixtures that we can add to allow us to save even more water. To find the best kitchen faucets, you can check faucetmag.com

Most water-efficient faucets and accessories that have been proven to conserve water significantly are branded with the WaterSense label. These products have all undergone a series of the independent certification process and have met the criteria given by the EPA and have been proven to provide ample flow of water resulting increased water efficiency. These faucets can save up to 30% of water usage without reducing the performance we need from it. Billions of gallons of water will be saved nationwide (United States) if WaterSense labeled bathroom and kitchen faucets are installed in every home.

We can also save water by replacing old faucets and aerators that are inefficient in conserving water. Just by doing this, the average family can save up to seven hundred gallons of water each year which is equivalent to the amount of needed water for forty showers. The will create a domino effect on other things as well. Everything will be much more efficient and will, therefore, result to a greener, cleaner environment. If you are looking for the best bathroom faucet with good water efficiency, check out the reviews of top products here.

Other Water Saving Products

Other than the obvious advantage of reducing our water bills, there are a lot of reasons why we should switch into water saving appliances. If we start being water efficient today, for sure there are lots of people who will gain access to cleaner and potable waters more than today.

Aside from water saving kitchen or sink faucets, there are actually other products that serve the same purpose. These are the following:

Water Saving ShowerheadsWater-Saving-Showerheads

Did you know that almost 30% of your monthly water usage comes from your morning shower ritual? Well, now you know. We don’t say that you should stop taking a shower every morning to save up this much water, but what we suggest is for you to switch into using low-flow showerheads when you shower.

If you do so, expect a huge difference in your water and electric bills. These products are very easy to install and are available for purchase in most hardware stores.

Although some people may refuse switch into low flow shower heads because some equate it to have low-pressure water when you shower, don’t worry. This problem has been addressed already and most makers of these products have improved the quality of their products so you can enjoy taking a refreshing shower without compromising water quality and pressure. You can check the top water saving shower heads on Finest Shower.

Water Efficient Appliances

Water saving appliances may cost extra cash compared to other less water efficient products, but you can actually save from them in the long run when you check your water bills. Aside from water, they are also efficient in power consumption, plus they take up lesser space inside your home.

Water-Efficient-AppliancesAn efficient washing machine saves a family of up to eleven thousand gallons of water yearly. Most of these efficient washing machines are front loaders that rely on the tumbling feature in getting the clothes clean and dry.

A water efficient dishwasher also saves hundreds of water because most of them use sensors which adjust water consumption depending on how dirty the dishes are. So the next time you decide to replace home appliances and utilities at home, opt for the energy and water-efficient one. It may appear to be expensive upon purchase, but you will see the difference of choosing it in the long run.