Heart of Maine, with funding from the Walmart Foundation, recently launched a program to provide vegetable farmers in Somerset, Penobscot and Piscataquis counties up to $1,000 in matching funds so that they can build their own walk-in coolers using the invention, called CoolBot. The system allows small farmers to create their own efficient cold storage rooms for a fraction of the cost of conventional refrigeration. efficient and cost effective.

Bob and Mary Burrs use the CoolBot in two ways: to chill produce from their high-tunnel growing system that allows them to sell at the Skowhegan Farmers Market year round; and to refrigerate the pasta and sauces they create in their on-farm commercial kitchen.

Four other farms in Somerset County have been approved for similar funding from Heart of Maine.

For more information on the funding, visit heartofmaine.org, email info@heartofmaine.org, or call 200-3603.

Heart of Maine is a non-profit organization with a mission to promote economic development that enhances the natural resources of central Maine. Helping to keep local farms economically productive by supporting their development into a local foods network is one of its primary goals.

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