Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lynch Creek Dahlias HQ Goes Green

Evé and Nathanael show off the old ballasts
Lynch Creek has replaced with energy-efficient ones.
The days are brighter at Lynch Creek Farm's headquarters, where the crew is busy shipping out spring orders of dahlia tubers in anticipation of flower-y gardens across the country this summer.

But the lengthening of spring days isn't all that's brightening the workplace at Dahlia Tuber Central. Even before the dahlia plants emerge from the fields at the Farm, Lynch Creek's gone green: a lighting refit in conjunction with the local public utility, Mason County PUD 3.  New high-performance, energy-efficient lighting is in place in storage, workspace and office areas of the Farm's facility at the Port of Shelton.

The better lighting, notes Lynch Creek owner Andy Hunter, is better and more energy-efficient in the storage area where the Farm's dahlia tubers spend the winter, and in the work area where the delicate operation of separating new tubers from the summer's root mass is performed.

Evé Munguia, who prepares the individual tubers for storage and ultimately for market, says good lighting is essential for ensuring that every tuber has an eye, and helps assure better quality control in winter storage so the tubers emerge in the best possible condition in the spring.

Evé notes that good lighting is essential to
effective dividing of dahlia tubers.
Benefiting from the refit are work, shipping and storage areas for the Farm's other business, holiday wreaths, greens and centerpieces. New lighting is also in place in the administrative area where orders are received and processed. As Lynch Creek Farm's power use becomes more efficient, the Farm's customers benefit from that efficiency with savings as well.

Electric lighting, according to PUD 3 of Mason County, accounts for almost 40 percent of the energy consumed in U.S. commercial buildings each year. Changing to T8 fluorescent lighting can reduce energy consumption by up to 50 percent, and the utility provided cost-effective incentives for making the change.

The utility says that T8 lighting is better and safer. As a family-style operation, a safe workplace is important to Lynch Creek Farm — just as important as great wreaths and beautiful, beautiful dahlias.

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