Portable hand-washing unit designed for smaller-scale farmers

04/24/2012 02:00:00 PM
The Grower Staff

portable hand-washing unitCourtesy North Carolina State UniversityThe larger hand-washing unit was designed for commercial use in farmers' fields.Two North Carolina State University researchers have designed portable hand-washing facilities that are relatively economical to build and can be constructed of readily available components.

Rod Gurganus, director of North Carolina MarketReady, and Gary Roberson, a North Carolina Cooperative Extension specialist in biological and agricultural engineering, designed the original prototype in 2008, according to a news release.

The model was intended for commercial use in farm fields.

But grower feedback during field tests in 2010 suggested the two develop a smaller unit that could be more cost-effective and practical to use at farmers markets.

“Food safety starts on the farm, so it’s essential that our growers have access to adequate, affordable hand-washing facilities for use in the field and at direct points of sale, like farmers markets,” Gurganus said in the release.

With a $24,000 grant from the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center, the two designed a unit that costs about $2,000 to build, depending on materials and customization.

The cost of the wagon or support trailer was not included in that cost figure.

For more details about both the small and large portable hand-washing unit, visit NCMarketReady.

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John Marshall    
Lake City, MN  |  April, 27, 2012 at 07:09 AM

I could use a handwashing unit for farmers markets but the "small" unit displayed in the story is WAY too big to be feasible. A farmer marketer needs something with maybe a 5 gallon water tank, a soap dish or soft sanitizer dispenser, a sealed bucket for waste water, paper towel dispenser, to fit on the back of a pickup truck. At a farmers market where space is at a premium where would the marketer place a unit as big as the "small" unit you have designed? My thoughts.

Farmer Brown    
Upstate-NY  |  April, 27, 2012 at 02:56 PM

I double that suggestion, a farmers market sans hands washing facilities is inappropriate anywhere!

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