Grower Profile: Faster Heating, Better Turns
PROFILE NAME & LOCATION: Pam Snodgrass, President, P&D Nursery, Tualatin, OR
MARKET: P&D Nursery grows and sells groundcover, broadleaf evergreen shrubs, perennials, 4-inch annuals and hanging basket as a one-stop shop for landscape contractors and independent retailers.
GROWING AREA: P&D Nursery grows its crops on 40,000 square feet of greenhouses, which sits on a total of 11.5 acres of property.
DELTA T HEATING PROFILE:
HISTORY: P&D Nursery was established in 1986, and started from an existing nursery that had gone bankrupt. Snodgrass developed the nursery as she could afford, starting with 5 acres and systematically adding on to that. The Conley greenhouse, built in 2007, was a great improvement to the property, she says.
“In that house, we use specifications for spring and fall color,” Snodgrass says. “We were able to turn crop double from the other house. Bottom heat grows such nice product and it’s energy efficient. It’s nice to be sustainable in that way.”
GRANTS: THERE FOR THE TAKING
Through a grant from Energy Trust of Oregon, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Oregonians benefit from saving energy and tapping renewable resources, Snodgrass was able to pay for at least one third of her Delta T Solutions heating system. With that kind of help, she says she’ll probably upgrade her boilers and think about radiant heat for her older greenhouses in the future.
EFFICIENCY IS EVERYTHING
Snodgrass says she has found Delta T Solutions’ LD system to heat twice as fast as air heat, and that the extent of the plant health and quality benefits was surprising.
“I knew I would grow a better crop and that it would be energy efficient, but I didn’t realize how much better of a crop it would be,” she says. “Plants don’t seem to stretch as much because they are getting heat from the roots, which form faster and better, making a sturdier plant on top.”
The LD system also allows more control over the entire greenhouse climate, so Snodgrass can heat certain areas of it year-round, she says.
“We have it zoned so if we only have a crop in one zone, we only have heat there and don’t have to heat the whole house. We zone it off, curtain it off, and can have a mix of different crops in there, with different climate needs, too.”
ADVICE TO GROWERS
“Implementing a hydronic heating system is definitely worth the investment,” Snodgrass says. “I got my money back probably within the first two years, which was also thanks to the grant funds. It was very quick.”
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