[Market-farming] veggie crates and coolers

Beth Spaugh eas9 at cornell.edu
Sun Feb 6 21:45:51 EST 2005

>I would love advice on where to get reasonably priced crates for veggies.

I have been unsuccessfully searching the web. I probably don't know what to 
call the things.

>I am looking for two kinds:

plastic tomato flats for taking tomatoes to the farmers market and 
delivering to restaurants. I have found plans in a Growing for Market to 
make wooden ones, but have seen plastic ones around and wonder how much 
they cost.

The other is a heavy plastic box with a folding lid. I have seen two sizes 
- big for most veggies, and half size for heavies like onions. They seem to 
be about 15 inches tall? I am told they are expensive.

At our local market only one person uses them, and is impatient with me 
asking about them. I have seen them when I have visited other farms, but 
was out in the field or packing house and they didn't have purchasing info 

One fellow vendor has suggested a source for packing crates that don't have 
lids, and are slotted. My plan that I had liked when I saw it elsewhere, 
used solid boxes with hinged lids that met in the middle. They rinsed the 
veggies, put them in the crate, then turned the crate on end with the lid 
shut, and let it drain. Then put in the cooler. My assumption is that 
things will stay fresher/crisper in the cooler if they are in a closed 
container rather than in slotted, open-top crates. Correct or not?

Ahhhh, my good news is the cooler. We came across the panels from a 
commercial cooler. The cooler was 20 feet by 40 feet by 14 feet tall. With 
sliding doors on tracks (don't know if we'll use that). The whole shebang 
was $1000, and we split the purchase with another grower. Still may have 
enough to share with someone else if we cut them down to 6 1/2 and 7 1/2 
height (there is an anchoring hook in the middle at the 7 foot mark so we 
can't just saw them in exact half). Any advice on getting a compressor? Or 
sizing the cooler? I am thinking 8 by 10 or longer, with some sort of 
divider midway so the back stays colder than the front.

Beth Spaugh
Rehoboth Homestead
66 Jabez Allen Road
Peru NY 12972  

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