Planning a Greenhouse: Structures and Heating

Posted by Amy Storey on May 24, 2017
If you're planning a greenhouse, then you know how much climate will impact the heating and cooling of your greenhouse.  Growers can control temperature despite climate by having a properly sized HVAC system and by choosing the right structure and and covering.  

Before jumping into structure and covering, we have to understand that the structure type determines whether or not your greenhouse needs a foundation.

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Topics: Greenhouse

The Best Way to Plant Seeds

Posted by Nick Robinson on May 10, 2017

The best way to plant seeds: what's your purpose?

Every growing operation, whether a commercial farm or backyard garden, starts with seeds. And around this time of the year, growers like you and me are dreaming of seed-starting systems with good germination, healthy seedlings, and low costs.

Choosing a system that will give you those things depends on your size, location, and growing goals. In this post, we're going to describe some of the best systems for commercial indoor and greenhouse growers, classroom growers, and hobby growers. 

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Greenhouse Business: Start-Up Costs, Profits, and Labor

Posted by Jason Arnold on April 19, 2017

As real estate prices continue to reach historic highs, Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) is emerging as a solution for landlocked urban and suburbanites.

This article will feature an entry-level greenhouse that can fit on a 1,000 ft2 footprint and can be operated as a part-time job.

We will take some time to understand which crops are appropriate, seasonal variations, and market pricing for several popular crops. Finally, we will take a look at the startup costs involved and the potential profits.

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Topics: Business, Greenhouse

Arizona Farmer Expands Sales Opportunities with ZipGrow Towers

Posted by Eve Newman on March 30, 2017

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Topics: Spotlights, Upstart Farmers

Olive Trunk Farm Seizes the Opportunity to Feed Texas Town

Posted by Eve Newman on March 24, 2017

Food poisoning spurs local food conversion

It took a bout of food poisoning to convince Scott Rowdon to grow his own food, but now the Texas farmer has his eyes set on growing fresh, healthy food for everyone around him.

Rowdon’s foray into farming began with an emergency room visit following dinner at a local burger joint near his home in Little Elm, Texas, about two years ago. “It came about kind of on accident,” he said.

After his recovery, Rowdon decided he wanted to grow more of his own food. But like much of Texas, Little Elm — which sits on the northern side of the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area — isn’t celebrated for its soils.

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Topics: Spotlights

Learn by Doing: How to Use a Pilot System to Learn Vertical Farming

Posted by Amy Storey on February 21, 2017

Do you need a pilot system for your vertical farming biz?

If you're starting an urban farm, chances are you're currently totally immersed in blog posts, YouTube videos and online courses, trying to learn as much as you can. 

And rightly so!

Starting a vertical farm takes a lot of time and financial investment, and you need to know what you're getting yourself into. 

But learning through listening or reading only gets you so far! To fully understand the details of running an urban farm, you must have real, hands-on experience.

After all, “knowledge without application is like a book that is never read." - Christopher Crawford

That's why it's critical you create a pilot (or test) system as soon as you can. 

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Topics: How to's, ZipGrow

Modern Hydroponic Production: Why All the Right People Are Wrong

Posted by Nate Storey on February 20, 2017

More to successful growing than just productivity?

After a busy weekend drawing up wiring schematics for several new farms, I came home a little grumpy to a sick baby girl, and half a dozen notifications regarding a LinkedIn thread I’d recently commented on.

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Topics: Indoor Growing, ZipGrow, Industry

The 6 Main Challenges of Classroom Gardens (And How to Overcome Them)

Posted by Juan Valdez on February 14, 2017


So you want to start a classroom garden...

Classroom gardens can offer new opportunities for students and can be utilized in ways that make them more affordable. 

We’ve already discussed how classroom gardens are a solution to low resources and other benefits. Now we’re going to talk about the first steps toward building your own classroom garden.

This article will help you overcome common challenges of starting a classroom garden, as well as help you find the right materials you need to make it happen. 

Read on... 

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Topics: In the Classroom

The Top 7 Reasons to Start a Classroom Garden

Posted by Juan Valdez on February 7, 2017

New problems, new tools

While today's educators face their own unique challenges, there has never been a better time to be teaching STEM subjects. Public opinion, movements like the local farming and urban ag movements, and a burst in agricultural innovation are colliding to create the perfect environment for STEM and other learning.

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Topics: In the Classroom

The Best Crops For Vertical Farming

Posted by Chris Michael on January 17, 2017

A vital question: "What are the best crops for vertical farming?" 

"Vertical farming is not about how much production you can possibly cram into a space. It’s about growing better food closer to market and maximizing your production as a function of the resources you invest, such as capital, light, water, energy, and labor." - Chris Michael, Bright Agrotech

Vertical farming with ZipGrow is one of the most efficient type of growing in modern farms, but one question that people get hung up on is: 

What can you actually grow on vertical planes?  

It's a vital question! Anyone considering a vertical farm should be planning out their crops as part of the process. As a farmer, you have to make sure that you can actually sell what you grow and that your production costs won't be too high.

Part of that is good crop choices.

Although choosing crops should be part of a whole feasibility study for your farm, we thought a guide on some of the best vertical crops for vertical farming would be helpful to people in the middle of the planning process.

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Topics: Hydroponics

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