I can’t describe the feeling one gets when a long time goal has been achieved!

We purchased a walk-in cooler several years ago from our Laurel County friend, Wayne Riley. He was gracious enough to haul it to our farm in Lexington. While he was delivering it, he got stuck in the mud on our road and it took several staff members to dig him out. It was a fun day!

A month ago, the universe aligned and we finally installed our CoolBot! For those of you who might not be familiar with a CoolBot, it’s a thermostatic controller that turns an off-the-shelf air conditioner into a compressor for a homemade walk-in cooler. It is meant to extend the shelf life of produce and flowers. (This article from Cornell University includes more information about the process.)

The Coolbot has been a great addition to our little farm, extending shelf life and our generated revenue. And it will be super-helpful as we prepare to launch this summer’s Weekly Flower CSA program. Shares begin in mid-June, and more than 50 members already have joined!

C.S., a survivor who is participating in our flower stipend program, recently reflected on her new farm experiences:

“I’m surrounded by flowers which lift up my energy to perform my job duties. I’m learning the variety names for dahlias, like lollipop and bridesmaid and I forget the rest, but you know that’s ok, because I’ve only been working 3 days. I know something good will come out of this other than it fills me emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. While I’m working, I think about using the experience I’m learning from stipend as a reference for another job. It feels good to belong and it feels good to be responsible today. I feel like I’m headed in the right direction…”

Stories like that make our new CoolBot even cooler. 🙂