Two 10-foot-by-10-foot air-conditioned walk-in packing sheds have been built on the approximately 450-acre farm property on Guy James Road, just off Halls Hill Pike in Rutherford County, about six miles east of campus.
With more crops being harvested, the packing sheds are holding more produce such as tomatoes, lettuce, onions and watermelons, keeping them cooler — and fresher — for this summer’s Student Farmers Market Fridays at the Horticulture Center and again for the fall sale of harvested items from the summer crops.
Wheels began turning when Dr. Warren Gill, the department chair, worked with state Commissioner Ken Givens to secure $34,300 in state agriculture enhancement money. MTSU’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs then “matched it to help the student program and allowed us to sponsor student research,” Gill said.
Daniel Messick, president of the MTSU Plant and Soil Science Club, conceived a geothermal idea for the packing sheds, making it more ecologically friendly, Gill said. Messick and assistant professor Dr. Nate Phillips then collaborated on a $27,000 Clean Energy Grant from the Division of Student Affairs to make the project happen.
“I did a lot of research (about the geothermal method) and organized interviews (with prospective companies),” said Messick, a junior ag-science major and environmental science minor from Shelbyville, Tenn. “Dr. Phillips and I came together on the proposal.”
“The student became the teacher” is how Gill summarizes Messick’s creative thinking.
“This is hands-on learning,” said Tim Redd, MTSU’s Farm Lab director. “This is a student lab, pure and simple.”
“It gives the students more access to experiential learning — what they’ll see in their future careers,” Phillips added.
The university contracted with Precision Air Inc. of Murfreesboro to build the packing sheds and provide the geothermal method: digging a 6 1/2-inch hole 300 feet into the ground adjacent to the shop facility housing the packing sheds. It brings a constant 55-degree temperature to the cooling units.
“It’s 70 percent more efficient and doubled the lifespan of the cooling unit,” Messick said.
“This has been a great experience,” Messick added. “It’s nice to have a part in something that’s going to be here a long time. We have a more efficient way to sustain the cost on running the unit.”
Along with the dual packing sheds, an adjacent “little white building – the original dairy,” Gill said – houses a “four-unit packing line with a conveyor-fed brush washer, sponge absorber and rotating packing table that can be used for a variety of different vegetables, and has improved efficiency in preparing our produce for the market,” Phillips said.
Gill added that it’s also home to the ‘Honey House,’ which will have equipment to harvest honey soon.
For more information, contact Phillips by calling 615-494-8985 or e-mail email@example.com. Or Randy Weiler, MTSU News and Public Affairs, at 615-898-2919.
Phillips | Newswise Science News
New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young
22.11.2017 | Rockefeller University
Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos
21.11.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
22.11.2017 | Business and Finance
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy