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The points of contact between Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service and the grower & business communities are the NJ County Agricultural Agents. The agents are a tremendous source of information for both new and experienced growers. Visit your local county extension office.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

N.C. State creates mobile ‘Pack ‘N Cool’ produce trailer

"KANNAPOLIS, NC (8/21/2012) – N.C. State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute (PHHI) has developed a new mobile cooling unit for farmers. The five-by-eight-feet refrigerated trailer – called the “Pack ‘N Cool” – is designed to keep fruits and vegetables at ideal temperatures during transport to and from farmers markets or as they’re harvested in farm fields."

While the test unit will barely handle a pallet of fresh produce cartons, this trailer conversion should be ideal for a great selection of fresh fruits and vegetables heading to a farmers' market. If you don't already have a dedicated refrigerated delivery truck, or could use a smaller unit but don't want to tie up your pick-up, this might be an option for you. Besides, the equipment and construction doesn't need to be limited. You can convert any size trailer (or cold box) using their directions. The full story about the unit with lots of pictures can be found here, and a complete set of construction plans can be downloaded here.

--Rick VanVranken