AFE Board of Trustees July 2013 Vermont

AFE Board of Trustees and guests at the UVM Entomology Research Lab

Vermont is perhaps best known for maple syrup and vivid autumns, but could bubbles be next? The AFE Board of Trustees viewed a demonstration of an innovative bubble insulation system for greenhouses on their July 24-26 visit to Burlington, Vt., where they also toured the University of Vermont (UVM) Entomology Research Lab and Claussen’s Florist & Greenhouse.

The bubble project is part of the UVM Energy Conservation Project, which aims to increase greenhouse sustainability through energy conservation. Researchers are currently testing the bubble insulation system and a heat retention/shade curtain to reduce greenhouse energy requirements during New England’s cold winters, which should extend the length of the growing season. Claussen’s Greenhouse is the research site for the project and the largest greenhouse operation in Vermont.

Vermont Bubble Generation

Bubble generation in progress.

“We believe in conducting research that meets the practical needs of growers in their efforts to use environmentally sound methods to produce the most beautiful plants and flowers possible,” UVM Department of Plant and Soil Science entomologist Margaret Skinner, Ph.D. said. “Therefore, it is exciting to have an opportunity to showcase our findings with leaders from a national organization representing and supporting this industry.”

While at UVM, trustees also had the opportunity to hear the following presentations from AFE-funded researchers:

  • The Promise of Insect-Killing Fungi
  • Guardian Plants for Thrips Management
  • Energy Efficient Poinsettia Production

“Biological control of greenhouse ornamentals has been a major focus of our scientific team for many years, and support from AFE has been critical for sustaining our long-term research program,” Skinner said. “In addition, as a Vermont native and a long-time resident of Burlington, it was a particular pleasure for me to welcome the members of the AFE board to this incredibly beautiful city.”

The AFE Board will convene again in September for its 2013 annual fundraising dinner, held in conjunction with the Society of American Florists’ (SAF) convention in Phoenix.