In this episode of the Growing for Market podcast, host Andrew Mefferd invites guests Billy Mitchell, Chris Callahan, and Andrew Chamberlin to discuss efficient systems and organization for packing sheds. We discuss the principles of good flow in a wash/pack situation and how to optimize cold storage in post-harvest handling. The guests emphasize the significance of creating a comfortable and efficient work environment by considering factors such as walking paths, space, lighting, and ventilation. They provide practical tips to improve work flow, such as identifying bottlenecks and rearranging workstations or introducing hanging shelving.


The episode also delves into the five-step cleaning and sanitizing process for wash pack areas, with the addition of a crucial fifth step: drying surfaces after sanitization. The concept of dry-cleaning (not like laundry) is discussed as an alternative to wet-cleaning surfaces, with brushes, brooms, vacuums, or compressed air for debris removal. The importance of cold storage in maintaining produce quality is highlighted, with recommendations for small CoolBot rooms and considerations for larger spaces. The conversation concludes with resources including tools, articles, and informative materials to help optimize post-harvest handling practices and create efficient and safe work environments.


In this episode we discuss:

0:03:11 - Improving the Design of Greens Bubblers

0:09:22 - Container Options for Efficient Farm Operations

0:14:01 - Cleaning Tools

0:22:26 - To Wash or Not to Wash

0:27:54 - Design Principles for Good Flow in a Wash Pack Situation

0:34:59 - The Five-Step Cleaning and Sanitizing Process

0:35:56 - Cold Storage as the Endpoint of Wash Pack

0:40:37 - Common Mistakes in Wash Pack Operations

0:42:33 - Cultural and Communication Challenges

0:43:17 - Investing in Quality Tools

0:45:19 - Continuous Improvement and Problem Solving

0:52:24 - Future Focus: Sustainable Packaging


In Shop Talk with Neversink Farm we chat about new tools, old tools, how they can benefit your farm and tips to use them successfully with Conor Crickmore of Neversink Tools, which manufactures tools for farmers. In this episode of Shop Talk, we discuss strategies for using low tunnels in the shoulder seasons. Low tunnels are a cheaper way than greenhouses to nurture and hold crops when temperatures are outside of the ideal, stretching the season as temperatures climb in the spring or drop in the fall. We talk about how a little bit of extra temperature protection can make your farm much more competitive and profitable.

Thanks to our collaborator on this podcast Neversink Farm. They make this podcast free to everyone with their generous support. For tools designed and made by farmers, check out


Free articles mentioned in show:

Beat the heat in postharvest handling

Love is Love Cooperative Farm Profile


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